File picture: Darren Staples / Reuters.

South African motorists will be hit with another big fuel price increase on Wednesday, December 6, with the price of all grades of petrol rising by 71 cents a litre, while diesel is set to increase by 57 cents in the case of low-sulphur 50ppm and 60 cents for standard 500ppm. Here’s what you’ll be paying at the forecourts:

* As diesel prices are not regulated, they do vary from forecourt to forecourt. Our figures are an estimation based on a survey of five stations in Cape Town and five in Johannesburg. The prices varied by up to 45 cents a litre in each region, so it pays to shop around.

Weak rand, high oil prices.

According to the Department of Energy, December’s fuel price increase is due to a combination of currency weakness and higher international oil prices.

The average exchange rate for the month of November, upon which December’s prices are calculated, was R14.10 to the US dollar, versus R13.62 for the previous month.

The average Brent Crude oil price, meanwhile, rise from 56.86 USD to 62.50 USD over the same period.

Glimmer of hope

However, there is a glimmer of hope in the South African rand’s recent strength (trading at R13.52 to the dollar at the time of writing) and the momentum is likely to continue following the announcement that SA's economy grew by two percent in the third quarter. 

Although it’s too early in the month to make any reliable fuel price predictions for January, the signs are good so far, with a strong under-recovery pointing towards a fuel price decrease of around 42 cents a litre.

But much can happen between now and month-end, and the rand is almost certainly going to take direction from the much-anticipated ANC elective conference scheduled to take place in two weeks from now.

IOL Motoring