Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

By late on Sunday afternoon the central energy fund  had not yet announced what Wednesday's fuel-price increase would be, leaving it unclear whether motorists will now need to fork out extra after last month's reprieve.

The announcement of a possible R1.01 per litre increase (for petrol and as much as R1.24 for diesel) could be “catastrophic” for motorists, with the fund not releasing the information on Friday, as scheduled, the AA's Layton Beard said on Sunday.

Fund representatives did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday, while the energy department said it would be announced “as soon as it is available for publication”.

The August decision not to raise prices, which cost the government R500m, has been criticised in some quarters as unsustainable.

The question now is whether the fund passes on the additional 25c/l that was withheld in September [onto consumers]," FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca said on Friday.

Energy minister Jeff Radebe has subsequently indicated that the reprieve in August is unlikely to be repeated. The shortfall was funded from the state levy account, which balances out under-recovery and over-recovery of the price at the pump.

The AA maintains that Wednesday's increase could cost the economy R2.5bn. "Illuminating paraffin users are also in for a shock hike with the price predicted to increase by a whopping R1.05 per litre."

"Excluding months where fuel taxes were hiked, this will be the largest single fuel-price increase SA has ever experienced."