Motorists will be paying less for petrol in March, while the price of diesel will increase, according to the Department of Energy.
“The average international product prices of petrol decreased, while diesel and illuminating paraffin increased during the period under review,” the department said in a statement.
The petrol price will come down by 69 cents a litre (c/l) from midnight on Wednesday 2 March and the wholesale price of diesel will increase by up to 15 c/l.
The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin will increase by 17 c/l and maximum retail price of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) will drop by R1,20 a kg.
In February, the Automobile Association (AA) estimated that petrol prices would drop by at least 59 cents.
“The rand has recouped some of its losses against the dollar and has been trading in a fairly narrow band since the end of January,” the AA says. “This means South Africans have been benefiting from lower international petroleum prices, and it provides some cushioning against any upward movement.”
Paul Joubert, a senior economic researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute, told The New Age newspaper that the recovery of the rand would be the reason for the drop in the petrol price.
“If the rand remains basically the same throughout the rest of the month until the 26th – the last day until which the calculations take place – and also if international petroleum prices remain basically the same in average terms at least, then what we’re looking at is a petrol price decrease of about 60 cents a litre and a diesel price increase of about 18 cents a litre,” Joubert was quoted as saying in The New Age.