The retail price of both grades of petrol sold in South Africa will increase by R1.18 a litre from Wednesday, while the wholesale price of diesel will increase by between 21 and 22 cents per litre, the energy department said on Monday.
The department said the retail price of illuminating paraffin, which is still used by millions of poor people for cooking and lighting, would increase by between 40 cents and 54 cents, while gas would increase by R1.98.
“The average international product prices for petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin increased during the period under review. The Rand appreciated against the US Dollar during the period under review, on average, when compared to the previous period,” the department said via a statement.
“The average Rand/US Dollar exchange rate for the period 30 April 2020 to 28 May 2020 was 18.1715 compared to 18.4771 during the previous period. This led to a lower contribution to the basic fuel prices on petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 7.18 c/l, 6.90 c/l and 5.52 c/l respectively.”
South Africa adjusts fuel prices each month, taking into account global oil prices and the rand exchange rate.
In May, the retail price of both grades of petrol decreased by R1.74 a litre while the wholesale price of diesel dipped by as much as R1.61.
The lower fuel prices had offered some comfort to South Africans who were grappling with the severe economic fallout from a nationwide lockdown imposed by the government from March 27 to try and slow down new transmissions of Covid-19.
The restrictions have left many jobs under threat as grounded businesses struggle to stay viable.
On Monday, South Africa moved to level 3 of the lockdown, which saw various businesses reopen.