SA fuel price hikes to push inflation up

Economists say the sharp fuel increase is expected to push inflation up. The price of fuel and diesel will increase at midnight.

The Department of Energy has earlier announced that fuel prices will increase by R1.34 cents for petrol and 82-cents for diesel.

More increases are expected in the Road Accident Fund levy and fuel levy this month.

The kicking in of the general fuel and the Road Accident Fund levies have made the latest fuel price increase steep.

The department has attributed the fuel price increase to international factors including the fact that South Africa imports both crude oil and finished products at a price set at the international level.

Bumpy road ahead

A slew of price increases is on the cards. Electricity prices are also set to soar.

But how do you lessen the impact?

It’s a double whammy for consumers. On Wednesday, motorists will have to fork out more at the pumps as the new fuel prices and additional levies kick in.

Consumers will also have to dig deeper into their pockets with electricity tariffs increasing  by 9,41% at the end of April.

This means, an average household will spend about R70 more to keep the lights on. Add to that, an additional R240 to fill up a 45 litre car.

Keeping a car on the road is going to cost you far more. Uber driver Sthembiso Hlela has to fill up at least twice a week.

“The income I make is going to decrease because I am always on the road. I put petrol regularly and this is going to hurt my pocket.”

But with an already tight budget, how do you cushion the impact?

FNB Consumer Education’s Dhashni Naidoo says, “So the first tip is to start with the budget. The second tip is reduce small expenses like buying coffee a couple of times during the day; buying at the canteen. It’s the time to start bringing food from home, and finally think about how you can save money on petrol in itself – carpooling – think of travelling with colleagues.”

And tips for those who use their cars daily. Automotive Association’s Layton Beard says, “The first thing people need to do is that they must ensure their cars are in good working condition. The cars are well-maintained. The tyres are in a good condition. The wheels are aligned and that their car is using the right amount of fuel and doesn’t struggle and use more fuel to stay on the road, keep at a steady speed. You know driving in a stop-start traffic in the early morning or afternoon is going to use a lot of fuel, so what you really want to do is to ensure that you leave a little earlier to avoid the traffic jams.”