Brace for major fuel hikes in March

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Brace for major fuel hikes in March

The Automobile Association (AA) has warned South Africans of possible hefty increases in the prices of all grades of fuel in March.

“South Africans can expect a major upward shift in fuel prices in March, delivering yet another blow to already embattled consumers. The current data is projecting fuel prices to jump the R24/litre mark for both grades of petrol edging close to the R25/l record high seen last year,” the AA said on Thursday.

Commenting on the unaudited mid-month fuel data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF), the Association urged motorists to set aside extra for their fuel budgets in March.

“Based on the current data, 95 octane petrol is set to increase by R1.35/l, 93 octane is expected to climb by R1.31/l, diesel by between R1.43/l and R1.59/l and illuminating paraffin by 96c/l.”

“International product prices are playing a significant role in the expected fuel increases while movement in the rand/US dollar exchange rate is contributing marginally to the under-recovery of the basic fuel prices.”

“We remain concerned about these expected increases which will undoubtedly put more pressure on already stretched consumers. These hefty increases also reaffirm our belief that a review of the fuel price is necessary to establish if any components within the current pricing model can be revised by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to mitigate against rising costs, especially for diesel as higher input costs will be recovered through higher prices at the till,” the AA said.

The Association has called on Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to consider not increasing the General Fuel and Road Accident Fund levies in his Budget Speech next Wednesday, stating, “Any relief, even in the form of non-increases would be welcome to a consumer base already reeling from economic hardship.”

The adjusted fuel prices are set to come into effect on 6 March.