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Fuel shocks! SA prices deciphered: how it fluctuated the last 10 years

2017-05-26 08:02

Charlen Raymond

RUNNING LOW? Nearly 900 000 drivers are left stranded each year because they ignore their fuel warning light.Image: iStock

Cape Town - One of the most dreaded announcements many South African motorists face is the inevitable rise in fuel prices.

It's usually accompanied by a feeling of despair as the economy is severely affected by any increase in fuel prices. The fluctuation of our country’s fuel price means citizens will have to fork out the extra cash for transport and goods.

How much has the price of fuel increased in the last ten years?


In 2006 South Africans paid just - on average - R7 for a litre of fuel. Diesel and Unleaded 93 came in at just over R7, while Unleaded 95 was R7.04. Imagining that this was the actual cost of fuel seems like a distant memory.

In 2007 the price of diesel decreased by 3cents, but surprisingly, by the end of 2008 the average price of diesel per litre was R11.27! In 2009 the price dropped back down to R6.65. Fuel, too, increased and decreased over the same period.

What is the cheapest price you can remember paying for a litre of fuel in South Africa, or anywhere else in the world? Tell us your story via emailFacebook and Twitter.

In 2008 the world faced a global recession, which negatively impacted product prices. Over the next couple of years the world, and South Africa, tried to recover from the recession, but in 2011 the price increased again. And, it continued to climb.

In 2014 local fuel prices reached their highest points, yet. Unleaded 93 and Unleaded 95 sold for R14.08 and R14.33 per litre, respectively, while diesel peaked at R12.84.

See graph below on the price of fuel from 2006 until April 2017.

Influences on SA fuel price

The basic fuel price (BFP) is determined by a number of factors, both locally and internationally.

International influences include:

  - Transport of oil from international export stations to South African harbours;
  - 0.15% insurance cover of total value of freight carried;
  - Tariff by National Ports Authority of SA to make use of local harbour facilities;
  - Coastal storage of fuel up to a maximum of 25 days.

Domestic BFP influences include:

  - Transport of oil to inland depots from coastal refineries;
  - Fuel tax;
  - Levy to the SA Custom Unions;
  - Road Accident Fund levy on both petrol and diesel.


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