THE 45c a litre drop in the retail price of petrol will bring welcome relief to deeply indebted con-sumers, said Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, one of the largest debt counselling companies in South Africa.
Roets has welcomed the 60c a litre reduction in the diesel price as both petrol and diesel prices have a major impact on the costs of all goods and services in the country.
Roets said while the predicted price reduction was to be wel-comed, consumers should not see this as an opportunity to stack up even more debt.
“With Christmas around the corner, some consumers may see this as an early Christmas pre-sent
This is not the case because there is a strong likelihood the rand could fall suddenly because the economic fundamentals re-main weak.
“This would immediately im-pact on the price of imported crude oil and consequently in-crease the fuel price.
“What we hope for is that the retail sector takes cognisance of this reduction and it will be re-flected in lower prices for all goods and services once the price decrease has worked its way through the system.”
According to the National Credit Regulator’s consumer credit market report, the total outstanding gross debtors’ book is sitting at R1.47- trillion.
This represents money owed by consumers in the form of mortgages, vehicle finance, cred¬it cards, store cards, personal loans, short-term loans, pension and insurance-backed loans.
Chief economist at Efficient Group, Dawie Roodt, said de-creases could be expected later in the year if the rand remained at present levels and if the oil price continued to decline.
“Both the rand and the oil price are all over the place which makes long-term predictions dif¬ficult,” he said.
He said a month ago it looked as though South Africans were in for an increase of about 20c a litre.