THE Automobile Association (AA) has warned that petrol prices could increase next year.
At the moment, the price of filling up your car is looking good because of weakness in the international price of petroleum.
In fact, said the AA, in the new year “owners of diesel vehicles will have something to smile about, with drops of between 73 and 75 cents a litre predicted”.
But there will be little change in the petrol price apart from a possible drop of a cent or two, while illuminating paraffin is set to fall by 61c/l, according to the AA.
The reason why petrol prices could increase: the fall in the rand. The steep drop in the value of the rand early in December, after the firing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, has continued through the month.
“Political figures should exercise caution before embarking on actions which may cause the exchange rate to deteriorate, increasing the cost of imported commodities such as fuel,” said the AA in a statement.
“South Africa’s economy is having difficulty winning back lost confidence, and our concern is that this trend may continue.”
The AA was commenting on fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. “Fuel prices would have dropped by up to an additional 27c a litre in January 2016 had it not been for substantial weakening of the rand/US dollar exchange rate,” said the AA.
Reviewing the year as a whole, the AA noted that the rand lost about one-third of its value against the US dollar in 2015.