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Official fuel prices for May announced – good news for diesel users but more pain for petrol consumers

While diesel will see price cuts, petrol prices in South Africa will be increasing his month. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

While diesel will see price cuts, petrol prices in South Africa will be increasing his month. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 2, 2023


While diesel users will enjoy another price cut, petrol users face more pressure at the pumps this month.

The prices of illuminating paraffin and LP gas also saw big price cuts for May.

South African consumers have faced turbulent times as the cost of living crisis spirals out of control, with inflation pushing up food prices, the South African Reserve Bank aggressively hiking interest rates and the rolling blackouts imposed by ailing power utility Eskom battering the economy.

South Africa’s fuel prices are adjusted on a monthly basis, informed by international and local factors.

International factors include the fact that South Africa imports both crude oil and finished products at a price set at the international level, including import costs.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announced that both grades of petrol, 93 and 95 octane will increase by 37 cents a litre.

Diesel (0.05% sulphur) will decrease by 73.54 cents a litre and diesel (0.005% sulphur) will decrease by 47.54 cents per litre.

Illuminating paraffin will decrease by 33 cents a litre. The single maximum national retail price for illuminating paraffin will decrease by 44 cents a litre while the maximum LPG retail price will decrease by 444 cents per kilogram.

It is important to note that inland fuel prices differ from prices on the coast.

Inland, 93 petrol will now increase to R23.01 a litre, from R22.64 per litre, with 95 petrol increasing from R22.97 to R23.34 per litre.

The changes will come into effect from Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

The following price changes will also come into effect inland:

  • 0.05% diesel (wholesale) will decrease from R20.89 to R20.15 a litre.
  • 0.005% diesel (wholesale) will decrease from R20.97 to R20.49 a litre.
  • Illuminating paraffin decreases from R14.72 to R14.39 per litre.
  • LPG decreases from R37.76 to R33.32 per kg.

On the coast, the following price changes will come into effect:

  • 93 Petrol will increase from R21.92 to R22.29 per litre.
  • 95 Petrol increases from R22.25 to R22.62 per litre.
  • 0.05% diesel (wholesale) decreases from R20.16 to R19.42 per litre.
  • 0.005% diesel (wholesale) decreases from R20.26 to R19.78 per litre.
  • Illuminating paraffin will decrease from R13.80 to R13.47.
  • LPG decreases from R35.17 to R30.73 per kg.

The AA said the increases would put further pressure on embattled consumers grappling with food inflation which hit record highs in the first quarter of the year.

“The decrease in diesel and paraffin prices is certainly good news, especially as the country enters colder months. But the increases to petrol prices will add more strain to already stretched budgets, and consumers are advised to revise their budgets accordingly. There is no doubt these are difficult times, and petrol price increases will come as bad news for many who will have to dig even deeper in their pockets to keep mobile.

“The surge in international oil prices is the main driver contributing to the under-recovery in petrol while the average Rand/US dollar exchange rate during April is actually providing some relief, without which the increases could have been higher,” the AA said.

“The silver lining, though, is the diesel price reductions. Diesel is a big input cost in major sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing and an increase here often contributes to increased prices of basic commodities. The current increase in the consumer price index (CPI) to 7.1% in March and food inflation hitting a 14-year high of 14.4%, plus an increase in diesel prices would have resulted in very unfavourable conditions for consumers.”