Petrol price pain for South African motorists

Petrol price

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announced that big petrol and diesel price increases will kick in on Wednesday, 6 March 2024.

The price of 93 octane petrol for inland motorists will increase from R22.92 to R24.13 per litre. 95 octane petrol will increase from R23.24 to R24.45 per litre.

The price of 93 octane petrol for coastal motorists will increase from R22.20 to R23.41 per litre. 95 octane petrol will increase from R22.52 to R23.73 per litre.

The wholesale price of diesel (0.05%) will increase from R21.36 to R22.42 for inland customers. The price of diesel (0.005%) will increase from R21.43 to R22.62.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy explained that the average international product prices for fuel increased during the period under review.

The rand depreciated against the US dollar on average during the period under review compared to the previous period.

The average ZAR/USD exchange rate from 2 February to 29 February was 19.0186 compared to 18.7655 during the previous period.

This led to a higher contribution to the basic fuel prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 17.71 c/l, 18.74 c/l and 18.53 c/l, respectively.

In line with the provisions of the self-adjusting slate levy mechanism, the slate levy on petrol and diesel will remain at 0.00 c/l with effect from 06 March 2024.

The tables below show the price changes for petrol and diesel, which will kick in on Wednesday.

InlandFebruary OfficialMarch Official
93 PetrolR22.92R24.13
95 PetrolR23.24R24.45
Diesel 0.05% (wholesale)R21.36R22.42
Diesel 0.005% (wholesale)R21.43R22.62
CoastalFebruary OfficialMarch Official
93 PetrolR22.20R23.41
95 PetrolR22.52R23.73
Diesel 0.05% (wholesale)R20.64R21.70
Diesel 0.005% (wholesale)R20.74R21.93

Significant impact on South Africa’s economy

The higher petrol and diesel prices have a much wider impact on South Africa’s economy than only putting pressure on motorists.

Most products in South Africa are carried by road. Transnet’s collapse aggravates the situation by pushing mining companies to use road freight instead of trains.

The higher petrol and diesel prices force logistics companies to increase their pricing to cover the rising costs.

This feeds into the entire value chain as fuel is a universal economic input, potentially raising the cost base of all goods and services.

Road Freight Association (RFA) CEO Gavin Kelly said roughly 85% of all goods moved through and around the country are transported via road at some point.

“Fuel is fast crossing the 50% mark in daily transport operating costs, which remains a high operational input cost for any company that requires goods to be transported.”

“That cost will – in most cases – be borne by the consumer who will continue to feel inflationary price pressure in the short- to medium-term.”

The higher fuel costs, which will drive up the price of other products and services, will cause inflation to rise.

Higher inflation will delay potential interest rate cuts by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), which remains cautious about inflation.

South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said there would be no interest-rate cuts until inflation is brought under control.

“Rates are where they are because inflation is what it is,” Kganyago said in an interview with Bloomberg in Sao Paulo last month.

“The task of taming inflation is not yet done. Until that is done, I don’t see why there should be a change in the monetary stance.”

Higher petrol and diesel prices are, therefore, bad news for those looking for interest rate cuts in the short term.


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