Pain for South Africans as petrol price hits new record


Both grades of petrol, 93 and 95 (ULP & LRP), will increase by a hefty 82c a litre on Wednesday, the  Department of Energy announced on Friday.

Diesel 0.05% sulphur and diesel 0.005% sulphur will increase by 85c and 87c a litre respectively.

Illuminating paraffin (wholesale) will go up by 82c, while illuminating paraffin (SMNRP) will cost 109c more per litre.

The maximum retail price for LPGAS will spike by a hefty 138c per kilogram.

The DoE ascribed the huge spike in fuel prices to a weaker rand and higher global oil prices.

"The average rand/US dollar exchange rate for the period April 25, 2018 to May 31, 2018 was R12.5099 compared to R11.9797 during the previous period.

"This led to a higher contribution to the Basic Fuel Prices on petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 30.46 c/l, 31.17 c/l and 31.53 c/l respectively."

The latest hike has taken the per litre price of petrol into record territory, with motorists now having to fork out R15.20 and R15.79 for a litre of 95 octane unleaded petrol on the coast and inland respectively.

The Automobile Association (AA) warned on Thursday that record high jumps in fuel prices are due to stronger international oil prices and a large deficit carried over from April.

According to the AA, the pressured international oil prices would account for two-thirds of the price rise. The AA also noted that the rand traded in a narrow band against the dollar.

"The Department of Energy’s monthly close-out happened early due to the public holidays in April, after which the rand lost almost 60 cents against the dollar in a matter of a day," the AA explained in a statement. "This meant a substantial fuel price rise was a near certainty from the start of May."

The AA flagged the higher paraffin price as a particular concern, as it would "hit the poorest the hardest". "This increase comes at a time when many people will rely on paraffin for heating in the winter months."

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