R2/l petrol price jump expected

Experts say motorists could be in for the largest petrol price hike in terms of rand value in April.

Motorists have been warned to brace themselves for a fuel price hike by as much as R2 a litre. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN- South Africans have been warned to brace themselves for a fuel price hike of as much as R2 a litre in April.

That's the warning from the Department of Energy and economists.

Investment Solutions economist Chris Hart says, "Almost R3 a litre onto the fuel price in just two months and it's back to the close to R13 a litre level from the R10 a litre level that we had at the end of January."

Econometrix director and chief economist Azar Jammine the March price adjustment will be the biggest fuel increase ever in rand terms.

"Next month, at the current rate of under-recovery - at the current oil price and depreciation of the rand to the dollar - we're expecting an increase of about R1,70 per litre in the price of petrol."

Officials briefed Parliament's Portfolio Committee earlier on Tuesday.

The Energy Department's Tseliso Maqubela said, "In the next month as things stand, we will see one of the biggest increases in fuel for quite a while and that will be once-off, but it is going to be quite significant."

Maqubela said the hike in the cost of fuel is because of the volatility in the price of oil.

"We have to accept that that volatility will be with us for quite a while."

Higher levies and announced in last month's budget will also be pushing up prices at the pump come April.

But Maqubela said even so, consumers will still be paying less for a litre than they were a year ago.