Bumpy ride ahead for motorists as fuel prices increase

South African motorists can expect a rough ride in February as fuel prices are expected to rise at midnight.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announced on Tuesday afternoon that the price of fuel and diesel will increase by 75 cents and 73 cents per litre, respectively.

The expectation that the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee will cut interest rates in March to reduce the cost of credit is likely to be tempered by the rising price of fuel, which is predicted to have a knock-on effect on the prices of goods and services.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said the adjustment of fuel prices is based on local and international factors, including importation costs.

Attacks on oil cargoes

He claimed that as ships are diverted from the Suez Canal to Europe, the impact of geopolitical risks and attacks on oil cargoes at the Red Sea in the Middle East has increased shipping rates.

Ships are now circumnavigating Africa via a longer and more costly route as a result.

“The average international product prices of petrol, diesel, and illuminating paraffin increased in line with the higher crude oil prices. LPG prices increased due to higher freight costs,” Mantashe said.

Steep increases

Diesel with a 0.05% sulphur content will rise by 73c per litre, while diesel with a 0.005% sulphur content will go up by 70c per litre. Petrol, both 93 and 95 ULP and LRP, will see a 75c increase per litre.

Wholesale paraffin will cost 53.00 cents more per litre, and the maximum retail price of LPGas will increase by 37c per kilogramme.

According to Eleanor Mavimbela of the Automobile Association, most households will suffer a double blow from the increase in fuel prices, particularly in light of their already stretched budgets as a result of holiday spending.

“The numbers indicate that the short-lived relief South African motorists enjoyed over the past three months is over,” Mavimbela said.

Motorists are advised to keep a close eye on how much fuel they use and to plan their budgets in light of the recent increases in fuel prices.

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