South Africans will see the largest fuel price decreases on record at the end of March. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. The fuel price will be adjusted next Wednesday, 1 April.
“The crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia continues unabated, with demand for oil further suppressed as world economies retreat due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the AA said.
“Not even the precipitous fall of the rand against the US dollar has been able to arrest the fuel price reductions, which are historic.”
Unleaded 95 petrol is set for a huge R2.18 per-litre drop, with 93 set to decrease by R2.05. Both grades of diesel are expected to fall by around R1.65, with illuminating paraffin down R1.98.
“In practice, all these drops will be slightly less, due to the 16-cent increase in the fuel levy, and nine-cent increase in the RAF levy,” the AA said.
Notwithstanding the addition of the 25 cents for the fuel levies, the expected decreases would bring the country’s fuel prices to levels last seen in late 2017 and early 2018.
“It is unfortunate that these massive reductions are coming at a time where private motoring is severely curtailed, but we would remind motorists that in terms of the lockdown regulations, they are still allowed to fill up their vehicles.”
However, the AA also notes that the fuel price drops would provide much relief to road haulage operators, and offset some of the economic damage resulting from the lockdown.
“We hope that, at this difficult time, companies that benefit will pass these savings back to consumers,” the AA said.
In addition to the regular fuel price outlook, the AA was also announcing that it would provide emergency battery assistance for healthcare workers at no charge during the lockdown period.
“It is critical that doctors and nurses are not inconvenienced by faulty vehicle batteries either on their way to hospital to treat patients, or after a long shift tending to the sick. We will offer free battery checks and jump starts to these healthcare workers; they can call 0861 000 234 if they need us,” said the AA.
The association also put out a request that AA members in need of emergency medical, roadside or armed response services access these services via the AA app where possible, to relieve pressure on the AA call centre. The free app is available in all mobile stores.
“As a certified essential service provider, we remain committed to providing our usual services, but we are also subject to coronavirus precautions and will appreciate our members’ assistance in reducing the burden on our call centre staff.”
“We call on motorists to drive only when necessary in terms of the lockdown regulations, and to abide by all traffic laws when they do.”