Here’s how much government has made from fuel taxes

Over the past decade, the government has made over R730 billion in revenue from the general fuel levy, as South Africans have had to shell out more for fuel every year.

An analysis by Daily Investor showed that the National Treasury’s revenue from the fuel levy has increased by over 92% over the past decade.

The fuel levy generated R93.37 billion in revenue in the 2023/24 financial year. This levy currently makes up around 5% of the government’s total tax revenue and is the fourth largest revenue item in the government’s budget.

The fuel levy directly impacts the price of fuel in South Africa, as government taxes make up just under 30-% of the price of fuel.

In the 2024 Budget, South African motorists were given some relief when the general fuel levy and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy were not increased. 

This will result in tax relief of around R4 billion to South African motorists, who have been hard hit by fuel price increases over the past year.

The latest announcement was a surprise. There were no fuel levy increases in the last two budgets, and many economists predicted it would change this year.

However, this does not take away the fact that a substantial part of the price South Africans are paying for petrol and diesel at the pumps is due to these taxes imposed by the government.

Starting in March, taxes will make up 26.8% of the petrol price and 28.1% of the diesel price.

Taxes will contribute over R6 of the total price of fuel per litre that South Africans will pay at the pump.

The basic fuel price is the largest component at 53% to 55%. According to the AA, this equates to roughly R12.78 per litre, depending on the grade of petrol or diesel. 

Wholesale and retail margins make up roughly 15% of the fuel price, costing R3.49 per litre. This is influenced by the costs of transporting fuel within South Africa, storing it, and pumping it. 

Around 17% of the fuel price is due to the general fuel levy alone, which equates to R3.96 per litre.

This levy goes directly to the National Treasury and can be used for any purpose the government sees fit.

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy, on the other hand, costs motorists R2.18 per litre of petrol and is used to fund the RAF. This funding is expected to total R48 billion in the current financial year.

The graph below shows how the government’s fuel levy revenue has grown over the past decade.


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