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Official petrol price increases for March announced

Off the back of an underperformance in the rand/US dollar exchange rate in February, coupled with rising international oil prices, fuel prices are going up by a minimum of R1.06 per litre across the board this March.

According to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), the rand depreciated against the US dollar from an average of R18.7655/dollar to R19.0186/dollar over the course of last month, leading to a contribution of 17.71c/litre and 18.74c/litre to the Basic Fuel Prices of petrol and diesel, respectively.

At the same time, international oil prices rose from approximately $78.70/barrel on 1 February to around $83.62/barrel by the 29th, tacking on another R1.05-R1.20/litre to the local cost of fuel, depending on the type.

Furthermore, the decommissioning of the Kroonstad pipeline on 31 December 2023 has affected the transport tariffs of fuel to four Magisterial District Zones comprising 8C, 9C, 10C, and 11C.

Following Ministerial approval, the transport tariff adjustments that apply to petrol and diesel in these zones will range from a decrease of 5.7c/litre to an increase of 0.9c/litre, depending on the zone.

These tariff changes will also take effect from 6 March 2024.

The Slate Levy remains unchanged at 0.00c/litre for this month, in line with the Self-Adjusting Slate Levy Mechanism.

With these inputs accounted for, fuel prices in South Africa this Wednesday will be adjusted as follows:

  • Petrol 93 – Increase of R1.21 a litre
  • Petrol 95 – Increase of R1.21 a litre
  • Diesel 0.05% – Increase of R1.06 a litre
  • Diesel 0.005% – Increase of R1.19 a litre

The following table shows how these changes will reflect at the pump:

Fuel type Inland Coastal
Petrol 93 R24.13 R23.41
Petrol 95 R24.45 R23.73
Diesel 0.05% R22.42 R21.70
Diesel 0.005% R22.62 R21.93

Tax adjustments for April

In his annual budget speech in February, finance minister Enoch Godongwana announced that there will be no changes to the country’s General Fuel Levy (GFL) and Road Accident Fund (RAF) Levy for 2024.

The minister referenced the current cost-of-living crisis as the motivation for government to halt rate hikes for the year on the two biggest levies imposed on fuels in South Africa, and he estimates that doing so will bring tax relief to the tune of R4 billion for local motorists.

However, he said the Carbon Fuel Levy – which is included as an add-on to the GFL – will increase from 10c/litre to 11c/litre for petrol, and from 11c/litre to 14c/litre for diesel.

These alterations will take effect in April when the new financial year kicks off.

While the GFL and RAF Levy are being kept static for now, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) believes that they will probably be increased later this year in the minister’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.

Speaking to MyBroadband, Outa said that it does not believe that tax halts will last until 2025 because the government does not have the budget to continue supporting motorists in this way, and the GFL and RAF Levy are two of the easiest taxes to collect.

“Outa is of the opinion that this is an election year, and as such the budget was an election budget but due to the fiscal constraints SA’s budget is facing, [the taxes] will probably increase in the [medium-term budget],” it said.

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