South Africa’s petrol and electricity prices vs the world

South Africans will be hit with a double blow in April, as the local petrol price and electricity prices are set to increase significantly – all while load shedding and the rising cost of living keeps households under strain.

Using the latest available data from the Central Energy Fund, petrol prices are in for a massive increase in April, where motorists can expect to fork over more than R1 per litre more for both grades of petrol, and around 62 cents more per litre from diesel.

This is before the additional 20 cents per litre that will be added in the month due to the hiking of the general fuel and Road Accident Fund levies, as laid out in the 2019 budget.

On the electricity front, energy regulator Nersa granted a price hike for Eskom at the start of the month, which will allow the power utility to raise its prices by 25% over the next three years.

The first of these increases, coming in at just over 9.4% will come into effect from 1 April.

On top of the price hike, Nersa also previously granted Eskom permission to recover R7.8 billion through a Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) application, which will see a further 4.4% added to the total over the period.

Electricity Prices

With the RCA included, the total price hike for electricity from April will see consumers paying just under 14% more for electricity from next month.

This will take the average price of electricity from 93.8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 106.8 cents per kWh.

Statista compiled data on the average price of different countries at the end of 2018 – this is how South Africa fits in:

While at these prices South Africans seems to have some of the cheapest electricity in the world, when compared to our peers in emerging markets, Absa found in 2018 that we have some of the most expensive.

Petrol Prices

According to the latest data from the Central Energy Fund (21 March 2019) motorists can expect a hefty price hike in April:

  • Petrol 95: +101 cpl
  • Petrol 93: +103 cpl
  • Diesel 0.05% sulphur: +61 cpl

When combined with the increase in levies (20 cents per litre), this is how the prices could reflect at the pumps:

Fuel March Official April Expected
95 Petrol R14.82 R16.03
93 Petrol R14.61 R15.84
0.05% Diesel (wholesale) R14.06 R14.87

While South Africa’s petrol price is far from the most expensive in the world in real terms, it does not mean that local motorists aren’t suffering.

According to Bloomberg’s fuel price index, South Africa ranks below only Mexico as the country in the world that spends the highest proportion of their annual salary to fill their tank.

The tables below outline how South Africa’s petrol price compares to other countries, followed by a comparison of the proportional annual spend on fuel.

Most expensive petrol in the world

# Country Price per Litre
61 Hong Kong R28.44
60 Norway R27.41
59 Netherlands R26.15
58 Greece R25.96
57 Italy R25.94
56 Denmark R25.74
55 Israel R25.33
54 Portugal R24.81
53 Finland R24.27
52 France R24.22
19 South Africa R16.03

Petrol prices as a % of annual income

# Country % of average annual income
61 Mexico 3.94%
60 South Africa 3.62%
59 Canada 3.01%
58 Greece 2.95%
57 Saudi Arabia 2.87%
56 Brazil 2.80%
55 New Zealand 2.56%
54 Malaysia 2.56%
53 Cyprus 2.30%
52 Russia 2.20%

Read: Expect another massive petrol price increase in April

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South Africa’s petrol and electricity prices vs the world