While most South African motorists have escaped an increase in petrol prices in November, the government’s plan to raise the fuel levy has garnered staunch criticism.
After much speculation, and seven consecutive petrol price increases, the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, confirmed that petrol prices, for the most part, will remain unchanged for the month of November.
While motorists who rely on unleaded petrol have managed to escape the brunt of yet another increase, diesel users have been hit hard by an increase of 50 cents per litre. This means that inland motorists will still be paying over R17 per litre, with the cost of diesel ranging between R16 – 17 across the country.
Government raises fuel levy amidst uncomfortably high petrol prices
South Africans are currently paying the highest petrol prices ever recorded in the country, and while minister Rabebe mulls the possibility of capping the costs of fuel, a levy increase has snuck into the mix.
Currently, for every R16 paid for a litre of petrol, the fuel levy accounts for R3.37. Add in tax associated with the technically defunct Road Accident Fund (RAF), which accounts for R1.93, and South Africans are forced to pay over R5.30 in levies for every litre of petrol bought.
For most motorists, exorbitant taxes on fuel, which account for more than 30% of the per litre price, have been a source of great displeasure. Unfortunately, that amount is set to rise thanks to an increase in the Slate Levy on petrol and diesel.
What is the Slate Levy?
The Self-Adjusting Slate Levy Mechanism Rules are government policies aimed at balancing out under-recovery of petrol prices. These rules, implemented in 2009, are managed by the Central Energy Fund (CEF).
In essence, the slate levy is money paid by motorists which the government ‘owes’ oil companies. These funds can be recovered, but only if the slate account balances out. Due to previous government intervention methods, aimed at reducing the cost of petrol, the Slate Levy account is currently horribly out of whack. Radebe explained:
How much will the fuel levy costs South African motorists?
The Slate Levy increase, which will take effect on 7 November, will account for 21.92 cents per litre. While this increase will not hike November’s petrol prices at the pump, at least not for unleaded fuel anyway, it does have the propensity to hit all motorists in December.