South Africa’s petrol price vs the world

Current data shows that South Africa has some of the more affordable petrol in the world – but we’re still spending more of our salaries on petrol than any other country.

South Africa currently has the 45th most affordable petrol in the world, according to data from, which tracks the weekly changes in the petrol and diesel prices in 174 countries globally.

The data found that the average fuel price in SA between November 2015 and March 2016 was R12.31 per litre ($0.77*), versus the average global price over the period, which was R17.55 ($1.10 per litre).

In dollar terms, South Africa’s current petrol price is on par with countries such as Tajikistan, the Philippines, Tunisia and Afghanistan at an average $0.77 (R11.88) a litre – half the price of countries including the UK, Portugal and Sweden.

Topping the list with the most expensive petrol is Hong Kong, where a litre of petrol costs $1.78 (R27.46) – while the cheapest petrol is found in Kuwait, at $0.23 (R3.55) a litre.

Here are the countries with the most and least expensive petrol in the world.

# Country Average fuel price (US$) Average fuel price (ZAR**)
1 Kuwait $0.23 R3.55
2 Saudi Arabia $0.25 R3.86
3 Turkmenistan $0.30 R4.63
4 Algeria $0.31 R4.78
5 UAE $0.37 R5.71
5 Qatar $0.37 R5.71
7 Oman $0.39 R6.02
7 Malaysia $0.39 R6.02
7 Ecuador $0.39 R6.02
10 Kazakhstan $0.40 R6.17
45 South Africa 0.77 R11.88
Global Average 0.96 R14.84
165 Portugal $1.46 R22.53
166 Mauritania $1.48 R22.84
167 Sweden $1.49 R22.99
168 Mayotte $1.50 R23.15
169 Italy $1.51 R23.30
170 Denmark $1.54 R23.76
171 Monaco $1.61 R24.84
172 Netherlands $1.64 R25.31
173 Norway $1.67 R25.77
174 Hong Kong $1.78 R27.47

Looking at average diesel prices, Venezuela tops out having the cheapest diesel $0.01 per litre, while Norway has the highest cost for diesel at $1.52.

South Africa’s diesel prices are ranked as the 67th most affordable at $0.73 per litre, along with India, Singapore, Yemen, Swaziland, Guyana and the Republic of Congo.

South African prices are still expensive

Despite South Africa’s ‘favourable’ petrol prices compared to other countries, South Africans still pay a bigger portion of our salaries at the pumps.

According to Bloomberg’s gas price rankings, local consumers pay the greatest portion of their salaries towards fuel than any other country listed.

This is due to large travelling distances between economic hubs, and a lack of efficient public transport.

South Africans pay 4.1% of their total annual income for petrol, Bloomberg said – and more petrol price pain is on the way, if the current economic climate continues.

Daily data published by the Central Energy Fund shows that petrol and diesel prices in South Africa are showing an under-recovery – meaning that prices are expected to climb if current rates persist.

Petrol 95 is showing an under-recovery of 2 cents per litre, while diesel (both 0.05% and 0.0055 sulphur) is showing an under-recovery of around 50 cents per litre. Petrol 93 has an over-recovery of 3 cents.

In late February, finance minister Pravin Gordhan also announced that the national fuel levy will be hiked by 30 cents – so from April, motorists could be paying as much as 33 cents more at the pumps for petrol, and 80 cents more for diesel.

* At the average exchange rate of R15.98 over the period
** USD 1 = ZAR 15.43

More on petrol

How the new fuel levy will hit South Africa’s petrol price

SA petrol price to drop 69 cents on Wednesday (March 2016)

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South Africa’s petrol price vs the world