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All the taxes on fuel in South Africa – What they are right now

Every litre of fuel sold in South Africa is subject to no fewer than six individual taxes or levies as of May 2023, which are earmarked for various spheres of government and authorities.

In February, the Minister of Finance in his Budget Speech announced that an increase of 1.0c/l will be made to the General Fuel Levy (Carbon Levy) in the price structures of both petrol and diesel.

In May, another temporary increase of 1.0c/l was added to the fuel calculations “to allow the industry to recoup the levy payment for April 2023,” said the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE).

As a result, taxes on petrol currently account for between 26% to 28% per refill, depending on the grade and whether you’re paying inland or coastal rates, and for diesel, they range from 29% to 31%.

Fuel taxes in detail

Out of all the tariffs on fuel, the General Fuel Levy (GFL) and Road Accident Fund (RAF) Levy together account for over 90%, with the former going to National Treasury for the government to use in manners it sees fit, while the latter may only be utilised for road accident claims paid out by the RAF.

Apart from these, the Slate Levy, IP Tracer Dye Levy, Petroleum Products Levy, and Customs and Excise Duties were also factored into the prices of fuel in May.

The Slate Levy is delivered to the country’s Slate Account and pays for the cumulative over- and under-recoveries of fuel prices recorded during the month. For May, this particular levy was decreased by 17.54c/l and is now exactly 0.00c/l.

The IP levy pays for the “tracer dye” that is injected into illuminating paraffin to curtail the unlawful mixing of diesel and paraffin.

“An illuminating paraffin tracer dye levy was introduced into the price structures of diesel to finance expenses related thereto,” according to the Treasury.

Furthermore, the petroleum products levy is allocated to reimburse the pipeline users for the applicable NERSA tariff on transporting fuel through the lines.

The customs and excise duty is then “included in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) pool and shared amongst the SACU member countries,” said the Treasury.

The rest of the price structure of fuel is made up of the Basic Fuel Price, secondary storage and distribution costs, wholesale and retail margins, and zone differentials.

The table below details the values of all the various taxes accounted for in the price of fuel in South Africa as of May 2023, according to data published by the DMRE:

Tax Petrol Diesel
Slate levy 0.00c/l 0.00c/l
IP tracer levy 0.00c/l 0.10c/l
Petroleum products levy 0.33c/l 0.33c/l
Customs and excise duty 4.00c/l 4.00c/l
Road accident fund levy 218.00c/l 218.00c/l
General fuel levy 396.00c/l 382.00c/l
Total 618.33c/l 604.43c/l

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