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'More fuel hikes expected for 2013'

The 'first of several petrol price hikes' for 2013 hit consumers after midnight.

Petrol pumps at BP. Picture: Clare Matthes/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Consumers on Wednesday were hit with what is probably the first of several fuel price hikes for 2013.

The price of petrol went up by 41 cents a litre at midnight while diesel will cost motorists almost 18 cents more for a litre.

The Automobile Association's (AA) Gary Ronald said this increase is only the beginning.

"We're anticipating that the National Treasury will probably look at the fuel levy and put that up. Historically, it's been in the region of 28 cents a litre. Bear in mind there is a portion that goes to the Road Accident Fund."

Ronald said to help save petrol motorists should consider car pooling with colleagues and taking the easiest routes to and from their destinations.

REASONS FOR HIKE

Th reasons for the hike were blamed on the weakened Rand/Dollar exchange rate during the period between 27 December 2012 and 31 January 2013.

The Rand was under pressure due to the growing current account deficit and negative sentiment.

During the period under review, the average international product prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin increased.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Neren Rau said, "The local petrol price is largely driven by the international petrol price."

Rau also said while looking at the effect the price had on consumers, it was the impact of diesel that was greater.

This was due to its usage in vehicles that move goods and freight.