Fuel price drop brings relief

There is a sigh of relief among motorists as the price of petrol drops by 45 cents a litre with effect from Wednesday.

Diesel is down by 60 cents a litre, while illuminating paraffin by 55 cents.

The Energy Department says the rand has been strengthening while international oil prices have dropped substantially this month.

Despite the drop in fuel prices the consumer debt will remain high, a debt counsellor said.

“The drop in the retail price of petrol of 45 cents a litre on Wednesday will bring welcome relief to deeply indebted South Africans, but the overall indebtedness of consumers remains a problem,” Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets said.

South African consumers owed R1.44 trillion, leading many to seek the help of debt counsellors, he said.

Roets said consumers should not use the drop in fuel prices to accrue more debt. Should the rand weaken, the price of fuel would increase again, he said.

“The 60 cents a litre reduction in the diesel price is actually more significant because most goods in the country are delivered by road transportation and if retailers play fair, this could result in slightly lower food prices.” –Additional by Sapa

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