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It’s been a shocking year for motorists in Mzansi. Fuel levies have increased, the rand has wobbled and oil prices don’t know whether they are coming or going. These major factors have seen the petrol price increase for nine of the 12 months in 2019 – we’re even finishing the year with an expected 11-cent-per-litre rise.

Petrol price in South Africa for December 2019

According to the AA, diesel and illuminating paraffin will get cheaper. But petrol users won’t feel any Christmas cheer. Bah Humbug, we say…

“The rand / US dollar exchange rate has remained fairly flat throughout November, contributing around a six-cent drop per litre. However, the prices of refined petrol and diesel, which usually track each-other’s movements, but with a fair gap between their prices, have showed an altogether different picture recently,”

“This has led to the unusual situation where diesel is set for a quite substantial decrease of 23 cents a litre, while petrol will increase by 11 cents a litre. Illuminating paraffin, which tends to shadow the diesel price, will also be down, by 25 cents a litre.”

AA statement

Petrol price increase over the past year

A turbulent 12 month-period started off so well, but a few major disruptions have put South Africans out of pocket when they’re at the pump. These key dates dictated the tale of the tanks:

Month Coastal prices Inland prices Monthly change in prices
January R13.42 R14.01 Down R1.22
February R13.49 R14.08 Up seven cents
March R14.23 R14.82 Up 74 cents
April R15.49 R16.13 Up R1.23
May R16.03 R16.67 Up 54 cents
June R16.12 R16.76 Up nine cents
July R15.17 R15.81 Down 95 cents
August R15.28 R15.92 Up 11 cents
September R15.39 R16.03 Up 11 cents
October R15.57 R16.21 Up 18 cents
November R15.44 R16.08 Down 13 cents
December* R15.55* R16.19* Up 11 cents*

Five key takeaways:

  • Coastal motorists are paying R2.13 more per-litre, 15.9% up from the start of the year.
  • Inland motorists are paying R2.18 more per-litre, 15.6% up from the start of the year.
  • April saw the biggest monthly fuel increase, with costs shooting-up by R1.23-per-litre
  • In turn, January’s decrease of R1.22 was the largest drop of the three “kinder months” – only for those gains to be obliterated 90 days later.
  • Good news: The AA believe 2020 will be an “era of stability”. The Rand has hit a level, and oil prices remain steady, meaning that petrol costs should soon be a little cheaper.
    • The asterix (*) in the table is based on the AA’s latest forecast. The official December price is yet to be confirmed.

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