Petrol prices have gone up. Picture Gallo Images
South African consumers have been dealt another financial blow as the price of all grades of fuel will increase by 28 cents a litre next week.
The energy department announced the increase yesterday in a move likely to have a devastating impact on many households.
A litre of 95 ULP (unleaded) petrol in Gauteng will now cost R12.22 as from next month and diesel will cost R10.98 a litre in Gauteng and R10.73 at the coast. Diesel is also rising by between 8.4c and 9.4c per litre. Paraffin will rise by between 9c and 12c per litre.
The department said fuel price rises come at the back of increased international oil prices and a weaker rand.
Liberty Retail SA consumer economist Tendani Mantshimuli said this was a series of punchy increases to the already hard-pressed consumers, especially low-income earners. She said most households’ income will now easily evaporate. “Increases in medical costs, water and electricity have pushed millions of consumers into more debt by borrowing more in order to survive and the latest petrol increase will make matters worse.”
She suggested that these recent increases could be one of the reasons why unsecured lending was on the rise.
Nedbank group economist Isaac Matshego said: “The cost of petrol has now risen by R1.56 per litre since the beginning of this year. With consumer disposable incomes under pressure, there is a need for consumers to find ways of cutting back on unnecessary expenditure and find more efficient ways of travelling.” He said lower international oil prices could translate to a drop in local fuel prices.
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