South Africa, along with many other countries, had to grapple with the steep increase in the local fuel price last year which reached a record high of over R20 per litre.
While many hoped that it would be a once-off phenomenon, it has dropped to just under this milestone figure but brace yourselves, since economists expect another sharp increase in the coming weeks. The Automobile Association (AA), in the meantime, has set up a petition calling for a review of SA’s fuel costs.
While the proverbial 3 months of January are almost at an end and consolation can be experienced with the first paycheck of the year, the number crunching Bureau of Economic Research has stated that consumers must dig deeper as fuel hikes are expected in February. Increasing global oil prices as a result of Omicron’s impact are the attributing factor and predictions will see an increase of R1,30 per litre, pushing it back above the landmark R20 figure.
The AA have also set up a petition to review and potentially challenge South Africa’s fuel costs. While we may not have the highest price to pay for petrol globally, our neighbouring countries (some of which are landlocked) enjoy a much lower price per litre, in some cases as little as 15% less.
As of the 25th of January 2022, Namibia pays the equivalent of R15,61 per litre while our land locked compatriots in Botswana pay R16,75 at the pumps. Mozambique comes in slightly higher at R17,87.
The AA stated that it is difficult to compare ourselves to other countries since our fuel price includes specified levies for the General Fuel and Road Accident Fund, but citizens are disgruntled with the increases since tangible benefits from these taxes are not visible. They further added that “Providing cheaper fuel to South African citizens won’t happen at the push of a button, but will require a multi-layered, multi-departmental approach with the involvement of the private sector”.
With no expected relief anytime soon, it seems as though our local fuel price is gravitating to being permanently above the R20 mark. Brace yourselves, South Africans!