Big petrol price drop from midnight

JOHANNESBURG – From midnight it will cost you much less to top up your tank.

All grades of petrol are set to drop by 67 cents a litre. Diesel will decrease by 25.38 cents a litre and LPG gas will cost R1.08 less.

It’s the third petrol price cut of the year and welcome relief for embattled motorists.

Neil Roets, CEO of one of South Africa’s largest debt management firms, Debt Rescue, said there had been a steady decline in the ability by indebted consumers to repay loans.

“This decrease in the fuel price is going to help many South Africans who had been pushed into dire poverty by a variety of increases over the past months including an 8 percent hike by Eskom in the electricity price and an above-inflation rate increase in the costs of basic necessities such as food,” he said.

Roets said a major problem still facing indebted consumers was the fact that unemployment figures remained high at around 24 percent overall and almost double that for young people between the ages of 16 and 34.

“With really slow economic growth of .6 percent over the past quarter and consumers under severe financial pressure, the decrease comes at a time when this decline could really help the overall economy and particularly the hard pressed middle class in South Africa,” he said.

Dawie Roodt, chief economist with the Efficient Group, said he was delighted with the decrease and that it would bring welcome relief to hard-pressed consumers.

“It is definitely going to put a few extra rand in the pockets of consumers. Now would be a good time to pay off outstanding debts and try and build up a nest egg for a rainy day,” Roodt said.

He ascribed the decrease largely to the decrease in the price of crude oil and said further decreases in crude oil prices could be on the cards.

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