Red-faced Department of Department of Mineral Resources and Energy admits to making a mistake in latest petrol price hike. Picture: SUPPLIED
Red-faced Department of Department of Mineral Resources and Energy admits to making a mistake in latest petrol price hike. Picture: SUPPLIED

A red-faced Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) says it made a mistake in calculating the petrol price hike introduced on December 1 — the increase is 6c a litre lower than first announced.

The price for both grades of petrol for December increases by 75c/l instead of 81c/l announced on November 29, bringing the cost of 95 unleaded to R20.29 and 93 unleaded to R20.07.

The rest of the fuel prices are correct as originally stated, with the wholesale price of diesel rising 73c/l for high-sulphur fuel and 75c/l for low-sulphur diesel. Illuminating paraffin rises by 42.20c/l.

Diesel costs R17.92/l (high-sulphur) and R17.98/l (low-sulphur).

“The 6c difference is due to the fact that the adjustment of wages for service-station workers had already been implemented in September 2021. Although it is for the very first time that such an error has occurred in the history of basic fuel-price determination in SA, the DMRE profusely apologises for the inconvenience caused,” the DMRE said in a statement.

The 6c reduction will come as little relief to motorists who have experienced a series of petrol price hikes this year. Petrol has increased by more than 40% since December 2020, diesel by about 44%, and illuminating paraffin by more than 70%.

The Automobile Association has called for a review of the fuel price structure, noting that the price of crude oil played almost no part in the latest hikes. It called for a recalculation of the fuel pricing model and a reduction of the two main taxes paid on a litre of fuel — the General Fuel Levy (GFL) and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy — which together account for about 30% of the price. 

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