While the price of petrol was originally expected to increase by 81c per litre, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has admitted to making a mistake. After the adjustment, motorists will be paying 7 cents less per litre than first expected. The price per litre of petrol will cost motorists R20.07c.
The department said, ‘the 6 cents difference is due to the fact that the adjustment of wages for service station workers had already been implemented in September 2021’.
The price of petrol is crucial not only to motorists, but to everyone in society. Due to it being an inflationary pressure, it impacts most if not all aspects of our lives. If the cost to produce a product increases, the price of that product will most likely also increase.
Programme Coordinator at the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity group, Mervyn Abrahams says the increase in fuel price will impact the cost of basic food items. This as the price of fuel has increased by around R2 over the past 2 months.
He said, “petrol and diesel are major input costs into just about all productive activity in the economy so we're expecting it to go right through the economy and affect everything including food prices, transport prices etc”.
Abrahams explains that while it is difficult to determine when the price increases will start impacting consumers, it can usually be observed two to three months after the price of petrol increases.
His organization calculates the cost of the consumer food basket on a monthly basis. The consumer food basket price is a measurement of the cost of 44 key food items purchased most frequently by lower-income households in order to feed a family of 7 every month.
He notes that the average price of a household basket has increased by 6.3% or R245.19 from November 2020 to November 2021. The same basket of food items which would have cost consumers R4018.22 last year, will now cost consumers R4272.44. While the increase cannot solely be attributed to the increases in the prices of petrol or electricity, it is a factor.