Father Christmas to bring SA motorists belated presents

MOTORISTS will receive a belated Christmas present next week when the price of fuel goes down.

Department of Energy spokesperson Bheki Khumalo yesterday confirmed that the price would be going down, but said the figures would only be released today.

Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald said petrol was likely to go down by five cents a litre and the price of diesel could go down by as much as 14 cents a litre. The price of paraffin is expected to drop by 12 cents a litre.

Ronald said: "It will be a nice present for motorists. I hope that food prices will stabilise on the shelves. Hopefully transport costs will also decrease.

"It is however difficult to predict what will happen in the next few months."

Petrol now costs R7,76 a litre and diesel costs between R7,65 and R7,73 a litre.

In February 2007, motorists paid R5,75 a litre for petrol.

Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt warned that there was a strong possibility fuel prices would go up in the second half of 2010.

Roodt said the price would remain stable in the beginning.

"The rand will weaken in the second quarter. We expect the oil price to go up quite a lot," he said.