Government heeds AA and public call to #reviewthefuel: Levies remain as is for now

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Fuel station in South Africa
Fuel station in South Africa
Peter Titmuss
  • The government has agreed to keep the two primary fuel levies that affect the fuel price the same as last year for 2022.
  • AA is confident that a review of the fuel price will ensure that consumers benefit from any changes in the future.
  • However, the petrol price is still expected to breach R21 per litre in some parts of the country in March 2022.
  • For motoring news, go to Wheels24

Motorists received a small respite this week as Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana announced that government would not raise the General Fuel Levy and the Road Accident Fund Levy, both of which are bolted on to the cost of every litre of fuel sold in South Africa. Delivering the Budget for 2022, the Minister said authorities would also heed calls from the Automobile Association (AA) and the public to review the fuel price in SA.

Fuel station in South Africa

Preventing further damage to the economy

The AA had earlier urged the Minister not to increase the two primary levies on the fuel price – the General Fuel and Road Accident (RAF) levies. Currently, these levies combine to add R6.11 to every litre of fuel sold in the country.

The AA called on the Minister not to increase these levies – as had been the case in previous years – saying such increases would be damaging to the economy, hard on the poor, and would lead to increases in the cost of goods and services across the board, especially as fuel prices are slated to reach record levels in March once again.

petrol pumps in sa
The petrol price is expected to rise beyond R21 per litre next month.

Protecting consumers' rights are paramount

"This is a landmark win for all consumers – not only motorists – and while fuel prices may still increase, the additional burden of higher taxes is now out of the way. We are naturally delighted that our calls have been heeded," says the AA.

In addition, the AA says Minister Godongwana's announcement that he and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe have agreed to review all aspects of the fuel price is an equally welcome development.

"We launched an online petition which secured 35 000 signatures to urge the government to #ReviewTheFuel, and the fact that teams from the Departments of Finance and Minerals and Energy are engaging to make this happen is a great victory for consumers," says the Association.

The Association says it, too, will engage the government with a view to contributing to the fuel price review in any way it can, mindful that its inputs are motivated by promoting and protecting consumer rights.

The petrol price is expected to breach R21 per litre in March 2022 in SA.

R21 per litre on the cards for March

For the first time, South Africans will pay more than R21 per litre of fuel when it comes time to brim petrol and diesel tanks next month. According to the AA, a substantial fuel hike well above R1/litre is on the cards for all fuel grades going into March. 

The AA on fuel price data released mid-month by the Central Energy Fund (CEF): "The data is showing an increase of R1.25 a litre for 95 octane petrol, R1.24 a litre for 93 octane, R1.29 a litre for diesel and a significant increase of R1.22 a litre for illuminating paraffin."

Seen year-on-year, the latest fuel price increases forecast by the CEF show substantial percentage jumps from March 2021. The price of 95 octane petrol inland, for instance, could rise from R16.32 a year ago to R21.39 in March 2022, a 31% increase.

The cost of diesel could rise from R14.12 in March 2021 to R19.33 in 2022 – a 37% hike.

The most significant leap is in illuminating paraffin – a fuel used by many for heating, cooking, and lighting. In March 2021, the cost of this fuel stood at R8.45 a litre. Considering the expected increase of R1.22 a litre, the price in March 2022 could reach R13.19 a litre (off its current price of R11.97/l), representing a whopping 56% increase year-on-year.

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