THANKS to the northern hemisphere winter, a weak rand and rising oil prices, you could be paying close to R13 per litre of petrol from next Wednesday – R2 more than a year ago.
The petrol price is expected to increase by between 80c and 90c next week – breaking the R13 mark in inland regions for the first time, an industry expert says. A year ago the petrol price varied between R10.60 and R10.80, but owing to rising oil prices and the weak rand, motorists can expect to dig much deeper from next week.
Automobile Association spokesman Gary Ronald said there were two major contributors to the latest rise in the cost of fuel.
"The first is the very bad exchange rate over the past month or so," he said. A weaker rand means South Africa has to fork out more for oil.
The second contributor is a jump in international oil prices.
"Oil prices have gone up over the past five weeks and have remained high," Ronald said.
"This is due to an increase in demand for oil. It is winter in the northern hemisphere, which relies heavily on oil for heating."
Growing economies like India and China also put pressure on demand.
Ronald expected the price of petrol to increase further in April, after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's budget speech tomorrow.
"I expect him to raise levies on petrol by about 20c," Ronald said.
Motorists could expect the price of a litre of fuel to peak at about R14 a litre this year, but this could go up to R15/l, depending on politics and economic recovery worldwide, he said.
This meant the average motorist, with a vehicle with a 60-litre fuel tank, will be paying about R120 more to fill up, Ronald said.