Motorists in South Africa will soon be facing another blow to their wallets as fuel prices are set to increase from Wednesday. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has announced that all grades of fuel will see significant hikes, with unleaded petrol (95) rising by R1.14 per litre and diesel (0.05% sulphur) increasing by R1.96 per litre.
These price hikes will have a direct impact on the cost of transportation and living expenses for many South Africans. A litre of 95 unleaded petrol will now cost R25.68 in Gauteng, while the wholesale price of diesel in Gauteng will be R25.01 per litre, reaching a new high for 2023.
The increase in fuel prices is attributed to several factors, including rising crude oil prices, refinery shutdowns in the US, global diesel shortages, and the depreciation of the rand against the dollar. Crude oil prices have surged from $87.78 to $91.86 during the period, putting further pressure on the already strained fuel market.
The Automobile Association (AA) has expressed concern over the escalating prices and the impact they will have on consumers. “These increases are going to hit all consumers hard, and they come at a time when most South Africans are feeling extreme financial pressure,” the AA stated.
It is not just motorists who will feel the pinch; the increase in fuel prices will have a ripple effect on the economy as a whole. The cost of transporting goods will rise, leading to higher prices for essential commodities. This will further burden consumers who are already struggling to make ends meet.
South African fuel prices are heavily influenced by international oil costs and the rand-dollar exchange rate since oil is priced in dollars. The fluctuating exchange rate and global oil market dynamics make it challenging for the government to stabilize fuel prices.
In addition to the fuel price hikes, a slate levy of 30c will also be implemented on Wednesday, adding to the financial burden on motorists. The continuous increase in fuel prices highlights the need for South Africa to explore alternative energy sources and develop more sustainable transportation solutions.