Drivers brace for impact as petrol tops R10/litre

2008-07-01 00:00

It’s been a steady climb and the petrol price has now breached the R10 mark.

The price of 95 unleaded petrol rocketed from R7,23 a litre in January this year to the current price of R10,50. In March, the price reached over R8, rising to R8,67 in April and R9,22 in May. A 50-cent hike in June added further to motorists’ woes.

Two years ago, the petrol price was R6,49 a litre.

Owners of diesel-driven vehicles will be sweating while forking out R11,34. In January they were paying R7,11.

The Fuel Retailers’ Association (FRA) said discussions with a major bank showed that as much as six percent of the transactions received in a specified period recently from sites using the “times 10” diesel pricing solution are incorrect and are being reversed.

FRA CEO Peter Morgan said a common problem is the incorrect calculation by cashiers and forecourt attendants. He said that fuel retailers have to absorb the losses.

And while millions of motorists are reshuffling their tight budgets as a result of ever-increasing petrol prices, others told The Witness yesterday that they are not affected by the national crisis.

A motorist who asked to remain anonymous said that she was unconcerned about the high petrol price because she drives a company vehicle.

“The prices do not affect me directly because every time the petrol goes up my company adds to my salary,” said the motorist, who was driving a Mercedes Benz Compressor.

Another motorist, who asked to be identified only as Roberson, said he hardly fills up his petrol tank as he rarely uses his vehicle. “I have had this vehicle for more than three years, but it only has a mileage of 800 km,” he said.

Although Gill Koller said she feels the effect of the increase, she understands that it is an international phenomenon.

“I was in America and the UK two months ago, and the same thing [petrol increase] happened while I was there. We needn’t feel alone,” said Koller.

She advised other motorists to think twice before taking a drive.

Sandile Mthembu said: “It makes it difficult for me to move around. As a result of this I have to reshuffle my budget.”

Niven Maharaj said that he is now thinking twice about using his six-cylinder vehicle.

“This car consumes a lot of petrol. Most of the money that I should be using for groceries goes on petrol. Soon I will be walking because driving is becoming too much.”

A Mrs Pillay, who drives an Outlander, said that the prices have more financial implications for people who collect low salaries.

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