Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The Automobile Association (AA) says huge fuel price increases in May will set motorists reeling.

"Fuel prices in May will increase by about 49c a litre as of May 2‚" the AA said on Thursday‚ commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF).

The diesel increase will be 60c‚ and 52c for illuminating paraffin.

Based on these figures‚ a litre of 93 octane unleaded petrol (inland) — which currently costs R14.23 a litre — will now cost R14.72. This is 23c higher than the previous record high of R14.49 in December 2017‚ the AA said. "These increases are significant and are attributable to a weakening rand against the dollar‚ and increasing international petroleum prices."

The organisation expressed its concern about the increases‚ especially those to illuminating paraffin. "Users of this fuel will be hit particularly hard as we head into the colder months [as] many households use this fuel for lighting‚ heating and cooking."

The AA cautioned that the depreciation of the rand over the past few days would affect on future fuel prices.

"Going into May‚ there is already an under-recovery of 46c a litre. If the rand doesn’t appreciate significantly against the dollar‚ and if international prices don’t decrease‚ this will mean another increase into June.

"The predicted price increases must also be seen against the backdrop of the substantial increases to fuel prices in April‚ which saw the addition of 52c a litre being added for the general fuel and Road Accident Fund levies."