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Latest fuel hikes to push petrol over R21 a litre for the first time

Record highs on petrol and diesel to hit motorists on Wednesday March 2

Denis Droppa Group motoring editor
From Wednesday 95 unleaded will cost R21.60 and 93 unleaded R21.35 a litre in Gauteng.
From Wednesday 95 unleaded will cost R21.60 and 93 unleaded R21.35 a litre in Gauteng.
Image: Supplied

SA motorists’ relief at the government not raising fuel taxes is short-lived. Fuel prices will hit record highs next month, with petrol to cost more than R21 a litre for the first time.

On Wednesday both grades of petrol will rise by R1.46, with 95 unleaded to cost R21.60 and 93 unleaded R21.35 a litre in Gauteng, the department of mineral resources & energy and energy (DMR) announced on Saturday. At the coast, 95 unleaded rises to R20.88 a litre.

The news comes after finance minister Enoch Godongwana, in his budget speech on Wednesday, announced there will be no increases to the general fuel levy or Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy, which together add R6.11 to every litre of fuel sold in the country.

It came as a relief to motorists after a period of heavy fuel price increases over the past year, in which petrol reached a record high of over R20 a litre for the first time.

The wholesale price of diesel takes a hefty hike of R1.44 for 500 ppm sulphur and R1.48 for 50 ppm sulphur next week, and will now cost R19.49 and R19.55 respectively — these are also record prices for diesel.

Illuminating paraffin rises R1.21 to R13.19 a litre, compared to R8.45 a year ago.

The DMR cited increased international fuel prices as the main reason for the hikes, with the crude oil price increasing from $86 to $92 from January 28 to February 24, the period under review.

The slate levy also increases 15.36 c/l due to the combined cumulative petrol and diesel Slate balances at the end of January 2022 amounting to a negative balance of R5.102bn, said the department.

A stronger rand buffered what would have been even more significant increases. The rand appreciated from R15.23 to R15.50 to the dollar, which led to a lower contribution to the basic fuel prices on petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 19.59 c/l, 19.66 c/l and 19.44 c/l respectively.

The hikes mean that it will now cost Gauteng motorists R1,080 to fill a 50-litre tank with 95 unleaded in a petrol car, compared to R816 a year ago when petrol cost R16.32 a litre.

Filling a 50-litre tank with 500 ppm diesel in Gauteng will cost R974.50, compared to R721 in March 2021.

In his budget speech Godongwana said that he and mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe have agreed to review all aspects of the fuel price, a decision that was welcomed by the AA which had been lobbying for such a move.

“Our economy is closely linked to the fuel price; it is a major input cost in the manufacturing, retailing and agricultural sectors. We have noted before that a review of the current structure of the fuel price, as well as an audit of all the elements which comprise the fuel price, should be done sooner rather than later,” the AA said ahead of the budget speech.​

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