Spokesperson of the Automobile Association of South Africa Layton Beard says government needs to urgently review fuel prices in the country.
His comments come as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announced a R2.37 per litre increase in the price of petrol, while diesel is set to increase by R2.30 per litre, and the price of illuminating paraffin will increase by R1.66 per litre from Wednesday.
Higher fuel prices have been pushed up by a weaker rand/dollar exchange rate, rising Brent Crude Oil prices on the back of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and rising demand in China, among other factors.
The fuel price increase comes as the government’s 75 cent reduction in the fuel levy – as relief for struggling consumers – expires on 3 August 2022.
“The major increase to the fuel price remains the increase to international petroleum and that is being driven by the conflict in Ukraine which is contributing to supply and demand pressures. As long as this conflict is unresolved, the increases to fuel prices in South Africa and other countries remain likely. We understand that government has little leeway in terms of international petroleum prices and the rand/US dollar exchange rate, which is why we have called and will continue to press for a review of the fuel price, an area where the government has control of the fuel price.”
Motorists have had to grapple with sharply rising fuel prices since the beginning of the year. Fuel prices have increased by 20% since January, and over 40% this year compared to the same period last year.
Department of Energy’s Robert Maake says the government has done what it can in terms of the relief on the fuel levy: