How the price of petrol has changed – 2001 vs 2021 – TopAuto
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Tuesday / 19 October 2021
HomeFeaturesHow the price of petrol has changed – 2001 vs 2021

How the price of petrol has changed – 2001 vs 2021

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South Africa has experienced fuel-price hike upon fuel-price hike in 2021, and there seems to be no end in sight.

The R18.15 inland price per litre of Petrol 93 reflects an increase of 22% when compared to September 2020 – when one litre of this fuel type cost R14.89.

Currently, every fuel type in South Africa is the most expensive it has ever been, and this made us look back to see where the price rises came from.

How petrol prices are calculated

According to the Automobile Association (AA), South African fuel price calculations take into account the following elements:

  • Slate Levy (SL)
  • General Fuel Levy (GFL)
  • Road Accident Fund levy (RAF)
  • Basic fuel price (BFP)
  • Wholesale and retail margins, and distribution costs

These taxes and levies are adjusted on a regular basis, with 2021 seeing an increase in two of the largest levies on fuel – the GFL and RAF.

Furthermore, the SL was added to the fuel price calculation in August and is meant to be paid to the Department of Energy (DOE) to compensate for the imbalances in the country’s “Slate Account” at the end of each month.

The Slate Account represents the aggregate of daily over-recoveries and under-recoveries in fuel prices for the month.

“An under-recovery means that fuel consumers are paying too little for the product on that day, whilst in an over-recovery situation, consumers are paying too much for the product on that day,” said the DOE.

The monthly fuel price adjustments are heavily dependent on the rand/US dollar exchange rate and international oil prices, too.

What we found

On average, South Africa’s fuel prices have risen by more than 278% in the past 20 years.

Petrol 95 is the fuel type that experienced the biggest overall increase, of 368%, while Diesel 50ppm grew by 51% since 2008.

It is worth mentioning that Diesel 50ppm was only introduced into the country in 2006, with the earliest official price records we could find dating back to 2008.

In addition, we found that 2008 was also the first year in which South Africa experienced double-digit fuel prices, with Petrol 95 spiking to R10.70 and Diesel 50ppm to R11.35.

2011 was then the last year of petrol prices being below R10, while diesel could still be bought for less than this during certain months of 2016.

Below, we detail South Africa’s average fuel prices, as provided by the AA and DOE websites, from January 2001 to September 2021.

It must be noted that the petrol prices used in this graph were recorded as inland prices from 2006 onwards, whereas all diesel prices are based on historical coastal prices.

Diesel 50ppm prices are recorded from January 2008.


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