Why South Africa’s fuel price decrease has been delayed until Thursday

Published Jul 3, 2024


South African motorists might have been confused on Wednesday morning when July’s much-anticipated fuel price decrease did not take effect at fuel stations around the country.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) announced on Tuesday evening that the fuel price adjustments would take effect from Thursday, July 4, and not Wednesday as is the norm.

South Africa’s fuel price is adjusted on the first Wednesday of each month after being signed off by the minister responsible for that portfolio.

However, following the recently announced Government of National Unity Cabinet, which was announced on Sunday, the new ministers had not been sworn-in in time to sign off on the price change.

Gwede Mantashe was appointed as the new Mineral and Petroleum Resources Minister for the 7th administration. In the previous administration he was the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, but President Cyril Ramaphosa has decided to reconfigure the departments.

The Energy portfolio has been reassigned to Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, who will now be Electricity and Energy Minister.

The new ministers are only expected to be sworn-in around midday in Cape Town. For this reason, Mantashe could not legally gazette the July fuel price adjustment until he has been sworn-in to office as he does not have the authority yet.

A spokesperson from the DMRE told IOL that the Minister is expected to sign the fuel price into effect later on Wednesday once his position has been made official.

South Africans who have been running their tanks empty ahead of the anticipated decrease will no doubt feel cheated by the move.

As previously reported, the price of 93 Unleaded petrol will drop by R1.05 per litre from Thursday, while 95 Unleaded petrol will fall by 99 cents. Diesel will come down by between 30 cents (500ppm) and 24 cents (50ppm).

Retail prices for petrol

  • 95 Unleaded petrol (coast) - R22.47
  • 95 Unleaded petrol (inland) - R23.26
  • 93 Unleaded petrol (inland) - R22.86

Wholesale prices for diesel

  • 50ppm diesel (coast) - R20.15
  • 50ppm diesel (inland) - R20.91
  • 500ppm diesel (coast) - R19.87
  • 500ppm diesel (inland) - R20.66

According to the DOE, international oil prices and the rand remained relatively stable during the preceding month, with Brent Crude oil decreasing slightly from $82.98 (R1,535) per barrel to $82.24, while the rand on average appreciated from 18.46 to the US dollar to 18.44.

However the international product prices of petrol decreased to a greater extent than diesel.

IOL Motoring