Johannesburg - South Africa’s hard-pressed motorists can look forward to a bit more light relief on the first Wednesday in February, with fuel prices set to drop again, says the Automobile Association.
Commenting on mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the AA attributed the continued positive balance shown by the fund to the unusual but welcome stability of the rand against the US dollar since the last week of December.
"The Rand/US dollar exchange rate has had one of its flattest periods in recent times," the Association said, “trading in a very narrow band between R12.30 and R12.40 to the dollar since 28 December.”
What has also helped is that the international prices of petrol and diesel were also stable over the same period, although both are starting to pick up as traders get back to work after the holiday period.
Nevertheless, says the AA, as things stood on 12 January, the price of petrol is set to drop 41 cents a litre - which will have us paying R13.86 a litre at the coast and R14.35 a litre inland.
The wholesale price of Diesel is predicted to fall by 23 cents a litre, and the maximum retail price of illuminating paraffin by 26 cents a litre.
The outlook further into 2018 is complicated by the unpredictability of the Rand/US dollar exchange rate, which is largely dependent on political and economic factors that affect South Africa's attractiveness as an investment destination, the Association concluded.