Motorists buckle up against fuel price hike

2013-04-07 10:00

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Public transport, timing your garage visits just right and knowing when to switch gears into “neutral” – these are some of the ways South Africans are trying to save money after another fuel price hike.

Motorists in coastal areas are now paying R12.83 for a litre of petrol, while those inland are forking out as much as R13.20 per litre.

Diesel is up in Gauteng to R12 a litre.

In the short term, economists say, the price is likely to dip again in coming months.

In the long run, though, things are only going to get tougher.

Economist Mike Schussler said the latest increase would take money out of consumers’ pockets not just at the pumps, but in grocery shops as well.

Dawie Roodt, an economist at Efficient Group, said the lower oil price would lead to a lower petrol price, “assuming the rand behaves”.

But that relief will be short-lived, according to Investec economist Annabel Bishop.

She said: “Rises in petrol and diesel prices will increase transport costs and so will operating costs for businesses, making it more difficult to be competitive for local producers.

“This, in turn, increases the cost of living as goods cost more, contributing to demand for wage increases.”

Motorists have several ideas about how to keep their seat belts tight.

Capetonian Khanya Silinga, who lives in Parklands, said he used the city’s bus rapid transport system to commute.

“I mainly use my car during emergencies, the odd day during the week and to get around on weekends,” he said.

Bulumko Mkowane, from Joburg, said: “I choose the routes that I travel very carefully. When I drive downhill, I put my gears on neutral.”

This has cut Mkowane’s petrol bill from about R1?900 a month to about R1?300.

Both Phumelele Faba from Joburg and Khanya Matshikwe from Cape Town have limited their social lives in a bid to save fuel money.

Fuel increases over the past year

»?Tweet @City_Press and tell us how you’re saving money at the pumps

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