The Automobile Association (AA) has asked South Africans to limit all non-essential road travel because of the fuel shortage caused by the unrest in the country.
According to the association, unaudited mid-month fuel price data from the Central Energy Fund showed that substantial fuel hikes could be implemented at the end of the month. Petrol could increase as much as 87 cents a litre, diesel by 58 cents and illuminating paraffin by 56 cents.
“Fuel prices were already trending higher before the widespread looting and unrest of the past few day. But now, the daily Rand/US dollar exchange rate has spiked from R14.35 to nearly R14.80 since 12 June. South Africa imports a lot of fuel, which will inevitably cost more in Rand terms. Meanwhile, international oil prices remain on the advance, adding further pressure,” says the AA.
The Association noted that the shortage of fuel is not the reason for the hike in prices, but the weaker rand caused by the riots will play a major role in the cost going up.
“SAPREF’s declaration of force majeure means that events beyond its control – the recent lawlessness – has forced it to shut down the refinery,” the AA said. “Past disasters involving refineries have polluted wide areas and claimed hundreds of lives, so SAPREF’s caution is justified. If the shutdown were to be protracted though, it could impact considerably on fuel supply to many areas, including Gauteng and other northern provinces inland.”
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