Petrol prices set to soar to record lev­els

Zululand Observer - Monday - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jolly

THE Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion (AA) has warned of a po­ten­tial ‘mon­ster fuel price hike’ come month-end, which is set to be the biggest fuel price hike in South African his­tory.

The pre­dic­tion is based on unau­dited data from the Cen­tral En­ergy Fund, and comes amid a spike in in­ter­na­tional oil prices and a huge swing in the Rand/ US Dol­lar ex­change rate.

‘Based on the cur­rent data, petrol users will be pay­ing R1.12 more per litre, with il­lu­mi­nat­ing paraf­fin cost­ing R1.17 more,’ said the AA.

‘But it is diesel users who will be hit hard­est, with a pos­si­ble price hike of R1.38 per litre, push­ing diesel to within a whisker of R16/litre.’

These pre­dic­tions would see mo­torists pay­ing 20% more at the pumps than in Jan­uary.

The AA said that such an in­crease, es­pe­cially in diesel prices, would have a ‘cat­a­strophic ef­fect’ on the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try, which is al­ready reel­ing af­ter the pro­longed drought.

It says ex­treme fuel price hikes could push mar­ginal busi­nesses, in­clud­ing farms, to fi­nan­cial break­ing point, and have a mas­sive neg­a­tive im­pact on con­sumer pric­ing.

‘While we earnestly hope the pic­ture im­proves be­fore month end, we once again call on the gov­ern­ment to ur­gently ad­dress the pol­icy and struc­tural is­sues which have put fuel users in the front line of the Rand’s weak­ness.’

Zululand mo­torists have ex­pressed shock over the po­ten­tial im­pend­ing fuel price hike, many of whom say they would con­sider car pool­ing.

Sibu­siso Nzuza, SANTACO (SA Na­tional Taxi As­so­ci­a­tion) King Cetshwayo Re­gional Chair­per­son, said he is wait­ing for a man­date from the pro­vin­cial of­fice be­fore he can make a state­ment on how this po­ten­tial fuel price in­crease would af­fect taxi users.

Such a price hike would have a ma­jor im­pact on not just mo­torists, but also taxi and bus users, many of whom travel long dis­tances be­tween home and work.

Po­ten­tial record fuel hike im­mi­nent

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