The Automobile Association has warned South African motorists to brace for another big fuel price hike in April, despite the substantial increases in March.
"The projected basic fuel price increase is being billed as 98 cents for petrol, 70 cents for diesel and 63 cents for illuminating paraffin," the AA said, commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.
But, as the AA notes, increases to the country’s fuel levies will push the prices at the pumps even higher when they come into effect in April.
“With the addition of the increases to the levies, our outlook for April sees petrol increasing by R1,18 a litre and diesel by 90 cents a litre. There are no levies added to illuminating paraffin,” the Association explained.
The AA said movements in the exchange rate had contributed 23 to 26 cents of this increase, with the balance coming from changes in international product prices. It noted the CEF's analysis showed that international oil prices contributed 73 cents a litre of the rise in the case of petrol.
"It is difficult to reconcile that figure with the general stability shown by the daily prices since the start of March.
"We hope that data will provide more clarity as the month unfolds, but there is a further fly in the ointment, which is that increased fuel taxes become applicable in April," the AA said.
"This will add 20 cents a litre to the April increase – 15 cents for the fuel levy and 5 cents for the RAF levy,” the AA said, explaining this would push the proportion of taxes and levies on the fuel price to around 38 percent of the cost per litre in the case of 93 unleaded petrol.
"When fuel taxes were proposed as a roads funding mechanism, the government resisted, claiming they were anti-poor. But the fuel levy has nonetheless risen by nearly 22 percent over the past three years. Given what is emerging at the Zondo Commission of Enquiry, motorists are justified in asking what this money is being spent on," the AA concluded.