45c Fuel price drop a relief, but rand still underp ressure

The good news shortly before Christmas is that from Wednesday this week (5 Nov), consumers pay 45c less for petrol per litre and between 60c and 61c less for diesel, bringing deeply indebted consumers some relief, but Debt Rescue chief executive of¬ficer Neil Roets warns against running up debt.

“What we hope for is that the retail sec¬tor takes cognisance of this reduction and that it will be reflected in lower prices for all goods and services, once the price decrease has worked its way through the system,” Roets said, cautioning that, “With Christmas around the corner, some con-sumers may see this as an early Christmas present.

This is not the case because there is a strong likelihood that the rand could fall suddenly because the economic funda¬mentals remain weak”. Consumers will now pay R13.16 for a li¬tre of 95 octane petrol with diesel costing R11.85 and paraffin down by 52c to 70c per litre.

The department of energy announced the price decrease on Friday last week (31 Nov), in line with lower international fuel prices, although the rand was weaker at an average of R11.10 over the last month. Dawie Roodt, chief economist at the Effi-cient Group,expects more decreases later in the year provided the rand remained at present levels and the oil price continued to decline, but said fluctuating prices make a long-time prediction difficult.

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