June could see one of the biggest fuel price increases to date if no significant interventions are announced.
SOUTH Africa’s fuel prices are already hovering around record highs, but June could see one of the biggest increases to date if no further interventions are announced by the government.
According to the Automobile Association (AA), mid-month unaudited data is pointing towards petrol price increases of between R1.93 and R1.97 a litre, while diesel is looking poised to rise by between R1.60 and R1.62 and illuminated paraffin by R2.14.
It must be noted, however, that final data may vary between now and the end of this month.
“In late March, the government reduced the GFL by R1.50 for April and May, which brought temporary relief to consumers. The big question now is how the government plans to deal with rising fuel costs from June onwards, especially given that baseline prices are forecast to move significantly upwards in June.”
This R1.50 “tax holiday” is set to expire at the end of May, and there is no word yet on any possible extensions or other significant relief measures.
Earlier this year, the Minister of Finance announced various permanent adjustments to the fuel price calculation that would take effect from June, including a cap on the price of 93 Unleaded petrol. However, it remains to be seen whether this will provide any significant buffer against rising international oil prices and a weak rand.
The AA has urged government to find and announce a long-term solution sooner rather than later.
“We are rapidly nearing the end of May and the fuel outlook is looking bleak. The government needs to address this issue sooner rather than later; consumers are anxious about what lies ahead, and the government should allay these concerns by indicating as early as possible what steps it will be taking to mitigate against rising fuel costs,” the association said.