Zululand Observer - Weekender

Another petrol price increase predicted

- Gugu Myeni

MOTORISTS may once again be forced to dig deep into their pockets with yet another fuel price increase predicted for the end of the month.

The Automobile Associatio­n (AA) says petrol prices could increase by 40 cents a litre, while diesel and illuminati­ng paraffin could spike by 70 cents and 65 cents respective­ly at the end of October.

This is based on unaudited midmonth fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

‘Internatio­nal oil prices remain stubbornly high and it is possible that current tensions involving Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, could place more pressure on fuel prices.

‘The predicted increases must, for the moment, be seen against the backdrop of the Department of Energy’s proposal to set a maximum price for the sale of 93 octane unleaded petrol and lead replacemen­t petrol fuels.

‘Should this happen, it will allow fuel retailers to set their own prices below the maximum amount indicated by the government and may, depending on the margins, ease the burden on users of the two identified fuels.’

This recent prediction comes after an increase earlier this month when petrol went up by R1 a litre and diesel by R1.24 a litre.

The AA has called on the government to prioritise economic policies which inspire investor confidence.

‘A stronger and more stable Rand is the country’s only defence against the vagaries of the internatio­nal oil price.’

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in KZN has also called on government to address the fuel hikes by investing, among others, in producing ‘electric busses, cars and bikes locally to reduce our dependence upon a volatile and expensive oil industry’.

The union caused disruption on the N2 between Stanger and Tongaat earlier this month in protest against the price hike.

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