After the December fuel price adjustment came into force and two days after the official announcement by Minister Gwede Mantashe, the department of mineral resources and energy announced it had made a mistake with its calculations.
Instead of the 81 cents per litre increase to petrol, six cents incorporated into the price had already been included in the September price adjustment.
According to the department, the six cent difference was “due to the fact that the adjustment of wages for service stations workers had already been implemented in September”.
The error affects the prices of all grades of petrol. The Automobile Association’s (AA) Layton Beard said it had already caused many South Africans to pay higher prices for fuel than they should have, and this situation must be rectified.
The increase for petrol is, in fact, 75c/l. Even with the smaller increase, the price of petrol has passed the R20/l mark.
“The error by the [department of mineral resources and energy] validates the AA’s call that a total review of the fuel price and an audit of all the process and components which comprise the fuel price, is necessary,” said Beard.
“While we appreciate that errors occur, the impact of the fuel price on millions of South Africans cannot be underestimated. This error, in fact, must be the catalyst for such a review.”
The fact that daily fuel price updates were being withheld from the public – only the monthly adjustment is released
– means there is no transparency in the process of fuel price determination.
“In the past, the daily updates provided some indication of fuel price movements to the public, but that is no longer the case.
“This, combined with this error [which was not identified by any one of the many people who should review this adjustment before the minister’s official announcement], supports our view that a review of the fuel price is
“We will continue to pressure government to initiate such a review so all consumers are confident the pricing released is accurate and fair.”
– Citizen reporter