SOUTH African consumers should brace for a possible increase in the basic fuel price in April of 98 cents per litre for petrol, 70 cents per litre for diesel and 63 cents per litre for illuminating paraffin, the Automobile Association (AA) said in a statement.The AA warned that the expected rises would be higher when hikes in fuel levies, announced by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in February, are factored in. It said that its outlook for April sees petrol increasing by R1.18 a litre and diesel by 90 cents a litre when the levies are included. The current inland price for a litre of 95 octane unleaded petrol is R14.82. If the R1.18 rise per litre of petrol goes ahead in April, this will rise to R16.00. The association based its projections on the unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF).OIL AND THE RAND The CEF’s analysis shows that international oil prices likely will contribute 73 cents a litre to the expected increase in the case of petrol. Movements in the rand exchange rate, meanwhile, will likely contribute 23 to 26 cents a litre to the expected increase.“When fuel taxes were proposed as a roads funding mechanism, the government resisted, claiming they were anti-poor,” the AA commented. “But the fuel levy has nonetheless risen by nearly 22% over the past three years. Given what is emerging at the Zondo Commission of Enquiry, motorists are justified in asking what this money is being spent on.”At the beginning of March, motorists had to pay 74 cents more per litre of petrol, and between 91 and 93 cents more for diesel. The price hikes in March were mainly due to increased international crude oil prices. — Fin24.