SA's annual headline consumer price index (CPI) increased to 4.5% in March from 4.1% in February, according to Stats SA.
This was within the expected range of projections by economists of between 4.2% and 4.8%.
Economists from RMB Global Markets Research Mpho Tshebe and Elena Ilkova had predicted inflation to increase to 4.6%, attributing the increase to higher fuel prices.
Analysts from NKC Economics, meanwhile, had also expected higher fuel prices to drive up inflation, to 4.7%.
According to Stats SA, one of the main contributors to the annual increase in inflation for March was transport costs, which ticked up 6.4% year-on-year.
Other contributors to inflation include alcoholic beverages and tobacco which increased 6.4% compared to the previous year. Prices for housing and utilities increased 4.5% from March 2018.