Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe announced a fuel price decrease on Friday afternoon, citing factors including the depreciation of the rand and the fall in international Brent crude oil prices.

In a department statement, Mantashe said 93 unleaded petrol will be R1.76/l while 95 unleaded petrol will be R1.88/l.

The Automobile Association predicted a decrease in the petrol price earlier on Friday, as a relief for consumers who would face financial pressure in the face of the coronavirus lockdown.

Earlier this week, Jayson Dunne of Bastion Advisory also said he expected the petrol price is likely to fall by around R1.95/l in April, and the diesel price by around R1.42/l.

In the department’s statement, Mantashe said the main reason for the lower oil prices was due to the continuous spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus beyond China and Europe as well as the oil price war that kicked off between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the month.

“This has added to investor and traveller concerns and as a result affected the demand for crude oil. Furthermore, failure by OPEC to agree on production cuts exacerbated the pressure on the price of crude oil,” the statement said.

Locally, Mantashe said the increase in the Fuel and Road Accident Fund Levies by 16 cents/l and 9 cent/l, respectively, as announced by Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni in his Budget Speech in February, come into effect this month.

Compiled by Khulekani Magubane