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Date: 2018-09-14

On Thursday, the Automobile Association (AA) in South Africa warned motorists to expect the biggest petrol and diesel price hikes ever in the country.

According to the AA, "Mid-month unaudited data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) is predicting the biggest fuel price hike in South Africa's history by some margin.

"A spike in international oil prices and a huge swing in the Rand/US dollar exchange rate have combined to predict a knockout blow at the pumps at the end of September.

"Based on the current data, petrol users will be paying R1.12 more per litre."

If that seems crazy, then those who drive diesel vehicles are in for a bigger shock. The AA reckons diesel could receive a possible price hike of R1.38 per litre, which will make it just shy of R16 per litre.

"To put this in perspective," said the AA, "should this increase materialise, it will push the price of 93 unleaded octane fuel inland close to R17 a litre, off a January price of R14.20 – a total increase of around 20%, year-to-date."

The AA went on to say they expect the agricultural sector, who is still reeling from the current drought, to be especially affected, saying that "extreme fuel price hikes could push marginal businesses, including farms, to financial breaking point, and have a massive negative impact of consumer pricing".

In a plea to government, the AA concluded by saying, "While we earnestly hope the picture improves before month end, we once again call on the government to urgently address the policy and structural issues which have put fuel users in the front line of the Rand's weakness."

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