Pretoria - In a surprise announcement from minister of energy Jeff Radebe on Monday afternoon, fuel prices will remain unchanged for September, except for a 4.9 cents per litre increase in the retail margin of petrol to cater for the annual salary increase for forecourt attendants, cashiers and other admin staff.
This is in line with the Motor Industry Bargaining Council agreement of November 2016 and has to be ring-fenced for the wages of the forecourt staff.
Had the government not stepped in to absorb most of the under-recovery caused by the sinking value of the rand and a modest rise in international oil prices, the price of petrol would have gone up by 28 cents per litre and diesel by 31 cents a litre on Wednesday 5 September, according to the normal Central Energy Fund calculations, and that's over and above the aforementioned 5 cent retail increase.
Consumers under pressure
In its statement the department of energy said it was aware that the sustained price increases of the past few months had put consumers under pressure, and had decided to intervene temporarily for this month - but that it was a “once off temporary intervention” to provide some relief against fuel price hikes.
Thanks to that intervention, the price a litre of 95-octane petrol will go up on Wednesday from R15.44 to R15.49 at the coast and from R16.03 to R16.08 in Gauteng. The wholesale price per litre of diesel will remain unchanged at R13.92 in coastal areas and R14.41 inland - bearing in mind that the retail price will vary from forecourt to forecourt.