Stability on international petroleum markets and a stronger exchange rate are set to give fuel prices a breather
MOTORISTS can expect yet another petrol price increase for May, with a slight decrease in diesel.
This was revealed by the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.
According to the AA, data shows the prospect of a welcome 32 cents-a-litre drop in the price of diesel and 27c for illuminating paraffin.
AA spokesperson Layton Beard said the petrol price, however, would see a possible slight increase of 6c a litre.
Beard said stability on international petroleum markets and a stronger exchange rate had given fuel prices a breather.
“However, the exchange rate’s performance is coming very close to nudging petrol into a decline, and if the current trends continue, there may be across-the-board relief from the recent series of price hikes at month-end,” said Beard.
This month, South African motorists were hit with a record-high increase in the price of fuel which saw them paying about R17 a litre of petrol.
The fuel price hike, which came into effect from April 7, saw the petrol price increase by R1 a litre while diesel increased by about 65c.
The association said that the rand had continued on the strengthening trend which emerged in mid-March.
It said that since then, it had gained almost 50c against the dollar.
It said that international petroleum prices had been stable over the same period, allowing the rand to leverage its recent strength.
Meanwhile, during the Parliamentary portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy meeting last week, the AA called for a review of both the fuel price structure and fuel taxes.
The association said that providing cheaper fuels to South African citizens would not happen with the flick of a switch, however, it would require a multi-faceted, multi-departmental approach with the involvement of the private sector.
Willem Groenewald, chief executive of the AA, said: “Our view is clear that a comprehensive, long-term analysis of the components of the fuel price needs to be done as a matter of urgency, and that all calculations relating to the fuel price (should) be audited to determine if they are still relevant and appropriate to South African conditions.”
Groenewald further said extensive research must be conducted into every single element of the fuel value chain which contributes to the fuel price in South Africa. He said alternatives must be sought if any elements were deemed too expensive, and each cent that was being charged must be justified.