File photo: Neil Baynes

After a few months of mild relief, South Africa's petrol price will rise by 41 cents a litre, for all grades, on Wednesday 6 February.

Motorists in Gauteng will now be forced to pay R12.06 for a litre of 93-octane unleaded and R12.27 for 95-octane, while their coastal counterparts will fork out R11.92 for 95-octane.

It'll be less of a blow for those with diesel-powered vehicles, with both grades increasing by 18 cents.

A litre of low-sulphur 50ppm diesel will now set you back R11.33 in Gauteng while the 500ppm sludge will cost R11.29. The aforementioned grade of diesel will now retail for R11.04 at the coast.

The department of energy attributes the price adjustment to increases in the average international price of crude oil and a weakening of the rand.

During the review period that determined the latest price increase (27 December to 31 January) the rand traded at an average of R8.76 to the US dollar, compared with R8.68 in the previous review period.

Of great concern is that at the time of writing, 1 February, the rand was trading at R8.94 against the dollar. Unless we see a marked improvement in the next month, the writing is on the wall for another steep increase in March.