The Automobile Association has warned South African motorists to brace for what it describes as a "massive" fuel price increase at the end of May 2018.

"Last month's fuel price account was closed earlier by the Department of Energy, resulting in the postponement of a substantial 50 cent-per-litre increase brought on by a weakening rand and rising international oil prices at the end of April," the AA said, commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

"However, this means the country started the month with a substantial fuel price deficit. In the first half of May, the fuel picture has continued to worsen, with steep oil price rises and ongoing weakness of the rand against the US dollar."

The AA said that South African fuel users are expected to face massive increases of 74 cents a litre for petrol, 81 cents for diesel, and 78 cents for paraffin. The AA expressed its concerns over the impact of these price hikes on the economy.

"Rises in the fuel price increases the cost of doing business, and companies have few options but to pass these costs on to consumers. Worryingly, people who use illuminating paraffin for lighting, heating and cooking will suffer a further blow as the country heads into winter," the Association noted.

“The deferred loss from last month will be included in this month's adjustment, which is currently looking to be substantial," it said.