The petrol price is expected to drop by around 17 cents a litre in September. File picture: Yves Herman / Reuters.

South Africa's petrol price is likely to decrease by just 17 cents a litre next Wednesday, September 7, while diesel is looking set to fall by between 47 and 48 c/l, depending on the grade.

These figures are based on the previous month's fuel price over-recovery up to and including 1 September, as reported by the Department of Energy. Although this is not the official fuel price adjustment (that is expected to be released later on Friday), the final price will be based on the same figures.

According to our projections then, Gauteng motorists should pay around R12.17 for a litre of 95 Unleaded and R10.49 for 0.05ppm diesel, while motorists at the coast are likely to pay R11.69 for 95 and R10.11 diesel.

The 17 cent projected saving is significantly smaller than what had been anticipated earlier in August, when the over-recovery (based on rand and oil price movements) had pointed towards a 69 cent petrol price decrease and a saving of almost 90 cents for diesel.

However, the rand has weakened considerably over fears that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan might be ousted and general uncertainly over the political situation in the country. In the space of half a month the rand depreciated from the month's high of R13.26 (August 16) to R14.73 on September 1.

Oil prices have also been rather volatile, having begun the month just below $43 a barrel, but peaking over $50 later in the month. It has bounced back in our favour in the past few days, however, and on September 2 was trading at $45.83.

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