File picture: Courtney Africa / Independent Media.

Johannesburg - South African motorists will need to dig deeper from next Wednesday with a double-whammy of currency weakness and high oil prices set to push up the pump prices of petrol and diesel.

Based on late-month data from the Central Energy Fund, the Automobile Association is predicting a petrol price hike of 31 cents a litre, while diesel drivers will be hit by an even bigger increase in the region of 41 cents.

This will push the price of 95 Unleaded petrol through the R14 a litre mark in Gauteng as it currently retails for R13.73, while the coastal price would rise from R13.23 to around R13.53.

"The first half of September saw the Rand appreciate against the US dollar, but this trend has been reversed since September 12, with the weaker currency eating into its earlier gains," the AA said. 

And there could be more pain on the way, with the rand having lost even more ground in recent days. At the time of writing, the rand was trading at R13.58 to the US dollar, down from R12.95 at the beginning of the month.

"This month's figures show just how vulnerable South African fuel users are to stronger fuel prices and Rand depreciation," the AA added. "With the USA eyeing interest rate increases, and global oil markets remaining buoyant, our view is that further fuel price hikes are almost inevitable before year end."

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