The Automobile Association (AA) said the rand’s recent softness meant petrol could rise between 23 and 25cents a litre, diesel by about 28 cents and illuminating paraffin by 17c. “This will, for the first time, push the cost of 93 unleaded octane fuel inland above the R16 a litre, a significant barrier.
“The rand remains under pressure and a recent spike in global oil prices could mean more pain at the pumps if it continues. A return to cheap fuels doesn't look likely and consumers will continue to be forced to economise,” the AA said.
Charl Potgieter, Absa head of personal markets, said this expected hike was courtesy of international oil prices and the rand exchange rate movements. “The result is that fuel prices will increase further to record highs in the first week of September, after already sharp price increases in recent months.
“The rising fuel prices have a negative effect on transport costs across all sectors of the economy, contributing to upward pressure on producer and consumer price inflation. As a result, consumer and business sector finances will see some further strain.”
This year's fuel price increases have resulted in numerous marches countrywide as squeezed citizens demanded political will to contain the cost of fuel prices.
The Freedom Movement, People Against Petrol and Paraffin Price Increases and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) have led protests and pickets aimed at getting the government and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene to reduce general fuel levies.
They felt the funds raised from the levies were spent on “undeserving and wasteful” entities such as the Road Accident Fund and SAA.
Those who participated in the demonstrations said the country was already battling to deal with the April VAT hike.
Deputy President David Mabuza yesterday told Parliament that the fuel hikes were caused by global markets but South Africans could rest assured that government was considering available options to assist in this regard.