S. Africans prepare for 2nd gasoline price hike
By Hassan Isilow, Tuesday, April 01, 2014
JOHANNESBURG – South African motorists are rushing to fill up their gas tanks ahead of another price hike on gasoline, expected to come into effect later on Tuesday.
As of midnight, prices for 93- and 95-octane gasoline will increase by 5 and 7 cents per liter respectively.
The pump price for 93-octane gas will now be 14.16 rand (roughly $1.34) per liter, while 95-octane gas will cost 14.39 rand (roughly $1.36) per liter.
In a Tuesday statement, South Africa's Department of Energy (DOE) attributed the increases to both local and international factors.
"International factors include the fact that South Africa imports both crude oil and finished products at a price set at the international level, including shipping costs," the DOE said.
It added that the local pricing formula included transport costs, fuel levies and a "road accident fund levy," which is determined each year by the Finance Ministry.
It will be South Africa's third gasoline price hike since the beginning of the year.
Last month, per-liter gas prices rose by 36 cents while diesel prices rose by between 27 and 28 cents.
At the time, the DOE attributed the hike to the fact that the local currency had depreciated against the U.S. dollar.
Dr. Mark Ellyne of the University of Cape Town, for his part, believes the latest increase will have a negligible impact on the public.
"The increase of fuel price by 5 cents is very small," he told Anadolu Agency by phone from Cape Town. "It won't have an impact on motorists and I don't think it will raise the cost of food."
But Johannesburg residents expressed fear that continuous gasoline price hikes could eventually affect their standard of living – especially given the fact that the city is also expected to soon raise water and electricity prices.
"The cost of living in Johannesburg is becoming extremely expensive," resident Martin Mazibuka told AA. "We pay for e-tolls, value-added tax on whatever we buy, and now petro [gasoline] is going up."
South Africans will go to the polls on May 7 to elect a new president, lawmakers and city council representatives.
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