South Africans are facing a full-blown fuel cost crisis, with petrol and diesel prices set to increase yet again in October 2023.
Unaudited mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund is currently pointing to increases of around R1.20 per litre for petrol and up to R2 per litre for diesel, the Automobile Association said.
This follows September’s brutal fuel price hikes of R1.71 per litre for both grades of petrol and R2.76 for 50ppm diesel.
If the above predictions come true, assuming that the current rand and oil price status quo persists until the end of this month, South Africans will be paying a shade over R25 for 95 Unleaded petrol at the coast and around R25.74 inland, where 93 Unleaded would rise to about R25.34.
“Should these significant increases materialise, they will push fuel prices to levels last seen in July last year, stretching the personal finances of South Africans even further,” the AA said.
“Higher fuel prices will invariably lead to higher prices at the till, and which will be a blow to many who are already experiencing financial distress,” the association added.
Higher international oil prices are the main culprit, having risen significantly since the beginning of August, and contributing around 80% of the under-recovery for petrol.
Brent Crude oil was trading at $93.93 at the time of writing on 18 September, having broken through the $90 mark earlier in August, for the first time in 10 months. This followed output cuts from Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters.
This time last month, oil was trading around the $84 mark.
The rand, currently trading at R19.06 to the US dollar, is making a smaller contribution to the fuel price deficit. It has depreciated to the current level from an average of R18.67 in August.
The official petrol and diesel prices for October will be announced early next month before coming into effect on Wednesday, October 04.
Stay tuned to IOL Motoring for more fuel price updates later in the month.