File photo: Danie van der Lith

Johannesburg - Motorists are facing unprecedented rises in the price of fuel in October, according to the Automobile Association analysis of unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund on Thursday.

"These increases are catastrophic for road users," said the AA’s Layton Beard. “They’re the biggest in South African history - and the major culprit is South Africa's chaotic economic policy which has left us defenceless against upticks in international oil prices."

With the falling rand and the rising price of oil contributing almost equally to the damage, the price of petrol is expected to shoot up by R1.01 per litre, with diesel spiking by a whopping R1.24. Illuminating paraffin users are also in for a shock with that price predicted to increase by R1.05 a litre.

“Excluding months where fuel taxes were increased, this will be the largest single fuel price increase South Africa has ever experienced," Beard said.

'It will cost South Africans an extra R2.5 billion a month' 

If the AA’s predictions are correct, the price of a litre of 95-octane petrol will go up on  Wednesday 3 October from R15.49 to R16.50 at the coast and from R16.08 to R17.09 in Gauteng. The wholesale price per litre of diesel will remain rocket from R13.92 to R15.16 in coastal areas and from R14.41 to R15.65 inland - bearing in mind that the retail price will vary from forecourt to forecourt.

The Association says the impact inflicted on the economy by such increases may put pressure on President Ramaphosa’s recently-announced stimulus package.

"We estimate this increase could take an extra R2.5 billion a month in transport costs out of an economy that is already on the ropes," Beard said.

"The cost of doing business will go up and the public’s disposable income will shrink. We don't believe the economy could grow meaningfully under such conditions."

IOL Motoring