Truckers and motorists are in for a steep fuel price hike on April 4th as higher fuel levies kick in and an increase in international fuel prices makes its presence felt.
The wholesale price of diesel – for both 0.05% and 0.005% sulphur grades – will be going up by 65,2 cents per litre inland and 55.1 cents per litre at the coast. Petrol (95 octane) will go up by 72 cents per litre inland and 62 cents per litres at the coast while 93 octane will be hiked by 69 cents per litre inland and 59 cents coastal.
Commenting on the figures released by the Department of Energy, the Automobile Association says that international petroleum product prices, which have remained stable since mid-February, have climbed sharply since 12 March.
The Association says the Rand/US dollar exchange rate has remained stable over the same period meaning that most fuel prices would have increased even without the additional taxes announced in February’s budget speech.
The General Fuel Levy and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy is going up April by a combined 52 cents a litre, meaning substantial price increases at the pumps. These increases will push the total amount of taxes paid to the levies to R5.30 a litre (from R4.78). This means that around 40% of every litre of petrol is being paid to indirect taxes via fuel purchases.
The AA says these increases are substantial and will push the cost of fuel to over R14 a litre for inland users which will certainly impact most on the poorest of the poor. These increases will also push the price of a litre of petrol closer to its December all-time high of R14.49 (93 octane) and R14.76 (95 octane) inland. Any further increases to international petroleum prices in the near future can mean local pump prices quickly surpass these highs.
“Public transport providers such as taxis and busses will have to cover these increases by passing them directly to consumers, which means more of their already small wage packet goes to transport costs,” the Association notes.
Similarly, the cost of the shipment of goods around the country will naturally also become more expensive as producers, suppliers and freight companies are forced to recover costs through increased prices. All of this must be seen against the backdrop of the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from 14% to 15%, which also kicks in this month.
“The good news is that Moody’s’ decision to hold its current rating and change its outlook to ‘stable’ gives South Africa much-needed breathing space to address economic issues. We are hopeful increased political and economic stability will spill over into a more stable outlook for fuel prices,” it concludes.