The Automobile Association has warned South African motorists to brace for yet “another hefty hike” in fuel prices at the start of March 2021.

Commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, the AA said “bullish” international oil prices had set the stage for more pain at the pumps.

The Association said the current picture showed month-end increases of up to 56 cents a litre for petrol, 47 cents for diesel and 41 cents for illuminating paraffin.

"Oil prices advanced at a leisurely pace during January, but the increase has quickened since then. International product prices shot up by around eight percent in the first two weeks of February," the AA pointed out.

The Association noted that on the positive side, the rand/dollar exchange rate had “worked in South Africa’s favour”, with the rand strengthening around eight cents against the US dollar in February, although added this had been “far from enough to offset the oil price”.

"If oil continues on this trajectory, South Africa's fuel prices might edge back into record territory in the medium term. Fuel users also remain vulnerable to economic shocks which might weaken the rand," the AA warned.