February’s much-dreaded fuel price hikes have been officially announced by the Department of Energy.
The price of both grades of petrol will increase by 75 cents per litre on Wednesday, February 7, while diesel will go up by between 70 cents (50ppm) and 73 cents (500ppm).
After the price hikes take effect, a litre of 95 Unleaded will cost R22.52 at the coast and R23.24 in the inland regions, where the cheaper 93 Unleaded will now retail for R22.92
As reported last week, February’s fuel price increases come mostly as a result of stronger international oil prices during the month of January.
However a weaker rand did contribute about seven cents to the under-recovery.
Brent Crude oil rose to an average of $82 per barrel during January, according to the Department of Energy, up from $77 the month before.
Oil prices rallied due to a combination of positive economic data out of the US, news of Chinese stimulus and supply concerns surrounding the current tensions in the Middle East, Reuters reported.
Oil prices had softened to around $77 at the time of writing on February 6, which could potentially help soften the blow for March.
The Automobile Association said this month’s price hikes would have a negative impact on household budgets at at time when most South Africans were still recovering from festive season spending and stretched budgets.
“We again urge consumers to monitor their fuel usage carefully, and to budget according to the new fuel prices which come into effect next Wednesday, the association said.
“Ensuring vehicles are well maintained and in good mechanical condition, carefully planning routes, and avoiding heavy traffic, if possible, are some ways in which motorists can ensure better fuel consumption.”