Petrol hike to dampen festive cheer

Cape Town – While South Africans will be counting down the hours to celebrate the New Year, many will also have to fork out more for petrol.

Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt told Fin24 that he expected the petrol price to increase by between 30c and 49c a litre (c/l) in January.

This is largely due to the increase in international oil prices and a weaker rand.

A tough year ahead

Roodt said 2014 is going to be a difficult year. “It all adds up. This increase will not break the camel’s back, but the accumulative increases will eventually be too much.”

The latest prediction follows a 17c/l increase in the price of both grades of petrol, a 10 c/l hike for diesel and a 16 c/l rise for illuminating paraffin.

In November, motorists got a slight relief with a 28c/l drop in the petrol price.

Debt expert Neil Roets told Fin24 that a petrol hike will devastate consumers.

Shopping mania

He said the looming petrol price hike is devastating news for consumers, especially after all the Christmas shopping and with New Year’s celebrations on the way.

“People simply did not budget for yet another petrol price increase so soon after the previous one,” said Roets.

“With holidays already planned, most consumers will not be able to escape the effect of the price increase”.

Roets said January is generally a difficult time for consumers because a lot of money is spent over the festive season and there are a lot of financial demands, like school uniforms and stationary.

“This looming petrol price increase will just make matters worse as it will also cause the prices of goods and services to go up.”

Be money smart

He advised consumer to draw up a budget as soon as possible.

“When you draw up your budget, it is very important that it is realistic and that it makes provision for unexpected expenses, like a petrol price increase.

“It is also very important to distinguish between what you want to buy and what you actually need to buy.”

Follow these tips to save on petrol:

  • Lighten your load
  • Avoid excess idling
  • Service your car regularly
  • Switch off the aircon
  • Check your tyre pressure
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