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Despite the volatile Rand and concerns around shipping routes in the Red Sea, local fuel prices are still expected to decrease when they are adjusted by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy next Wednesday. Commenting on unaudited data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF), the Automobile Association (AA) says the numbers are still pointing to reductions to fuel prices across the board.  

According to the CEF’s figures, ULP95 petrol is expected to be lower by around 54cents a litre while ULP93 is set for a drop of around 39c/l. Diesel prices are expected to drop substantially by between 94c/l and R1.02c/l, while illuminating paraffin will drop by around 95c/l.

On Wednesday oil prices stabilised with some major shippers resuming passage following continued attacks which pushed oil prices higher. However, the downward movement in international product prices – oil prices – remains the main driver behind the expected decreases. The average Rand/US dollar exchange is playing a smaller role but is still contributing the expected decreases.

“Although we are expecting fuel to be cheaper in January, we remain concerned about the overall high prices which impact on all consumers. If the expected decreases are realised, petrol prices will still be higher than they were in January 2023, but diesel prices will be marginally cheaper than at the same time. We must see all of this in the context of consumers who are still recovering from steep fuel price hikes in September and October,” says the Association.

The AA further says while 2024 is starting on a positive note for consumers, it’s still too early to determine if the trend to lower prices will continue, especially given current geo-political developments which impact on international oil prices.

“For this reason, a sustainable solution to mitigating rising fuel costs is still necessary and until that solution is found, citizens will be at the mercy of fuel price hikes. We again call on government to urgently initiate a transparent review of the fuel pricing structure to seek this solution,” says the Association.

The Association says changes to this data are expected before the formal announcement by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) ahead of Wednesday’s adjustment. However, it says any relief at this stage is welcome.


The Automobile Association (AA) does not regulate or adjust fuel prices in South Africa, nor does it have any input in how the fuel prices are calculated. Fuel prices are officially calculated and adjusted on the first Wednesday of every month by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. The DMRE is the only entity which regulates, sets, and adjusts fuel prices in South Africa.

The AA publishes outlooks and fuel price commentary based on publicly available information and communicates movements to the fuel price in the interest of informing consumers.

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