SA fuel prices in the last 10 years

03 Dec, 2021 - 00:12 0 Views
SA fuel prices in the last 10 years

eBusiness Weekly

Johannesburg. — Wednesday, December 1, will see South African petrol prices surging beyond the R20 per litre mark, for the first time in history.

There are many reasons why fuel prices are rising at such an unprecedented rate, but the prime culprits are strong international oil prices, a weak rand, and high taxes.

The rand has been weaker than its current level of US$16,15 to the US dollar, and Brent crude oil has been more expensive than the US$73,44 per barrel that was listed at the time of writing. But never before have we had such a weak rand and strong oil price at the same time. 

Annual fuel tax increases are no doubt aggravating the situation, and we’ll get to that a little later.

The end result, however, is that fuel prices have risen at a rapid rate in recent years and this becomes all the more apparent when we look at how petrol prices have changed over the last decade.

A sobering reality is that the price of 93 Unleaded petrol in Gauteng has risen by a whopping 91,8 percent in the last 10 years, 60 percent in the past five years, and 41 percent in the last year alone — although prices were a little higher than last year’s level, prior to the original Covid-19 oil price crash. 

If we adjust the 2011 price to general inflation over the last decade then today’s price should be R16,94, according to

We did not include diesel in the tables, as it is unregulated and thus only wholesale prices are provided. However, for what it’s worth, the cost of a litre of 50ppm diesel has increased from R10,33 to R17,37 (at the coast) in the 10 years to December 2021, and from R10,53 to R17,97 in the inland regions. 

Respectively, those amount to 10-year increases of 68,1 percent and 70,6 percent for your Hilux or Ranger’s huge 80-litre tank.

How taxes contribute 

to high fuel prices

As mentioned, annually rising fuel levies and taxes are adding salt to the current fuel price wounds, and a recent illustration released by the The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) drives this point home — keeping in mind that it’s a November 2011 to 2021 comparison, that doesn’t include the December increase.

Essentially the price of petrol (as it docks at the harbour) has increased by 49 percent, from R6,29 to R9,37, however, all the other levies, taxes, retail margins, and so on, have risen by 126 percent. 

In terms of actual taxes, the levy that goes to the embattled Road Accident Fund has increased by 173 percent, while the fuel levy has gone up by 116 percent, according to OUTA. 

The end result is that taxes currently account for R6,11 of every litre that goes into a fuel tank in South Africa.

The Automobile Association (AA) said the latest increases, once again, highlight the urgent need for an investigation and recalculation of the current fuel pricing model.

“This price disaster is entirely homegrown,” the AA said.

“Internationally, oil prices have pulled back from their recent highs and Brent crude is currently trading around US$75 a barrel. The majority of this month’s under-recovery is because of the weakening of the rand against the US dollar,” the association said.

“These increases are severe and will undoubtedly have major negative implications on already financially constrained consumers,” added the AA. — IOL Motoring.

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