Government makes changes around petrol price announcements

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy will no longer publish the daily over or under-recovery for fuel prices in South Africa.

This information is used by companies and media houses to gauge the monthly estimates for petrol price increases or decreases. In recent months, the department has stopped these daily updates in favour of a bi-monthly update – once at mid-month and again at the end of the month.

Robert Maake, director of fuel prices in the department, confirmed to BusinessTech that the department will now only send this daily information to stakeholders and it will not be available to the public.

He added that the Central Energy Fund (CEF) will only update the information publically once, at the end of the month.

In a separate comment given to Netwerk24Maake highlighted specific grievances with the Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa, which has used CEF data to publish a mid-month update primarily geared at consumers.

Speaking to BusinessTech, AA spokesperson Layton Beard confirmed that a senior official in the department had sent an email to the organisation, instructing it to stop using the information for its releases.

In the email, the department indicated that the data could only be used by companies internally and that the AA was effectively undermining the energy minister by making its own announcements.

In response, the AA said that this data was freely available and that accusations of ‘undermining the minister’ were borderline defamatory as it makes it clear in all of its releases that this was its own analysis and that all official announcements could only be made by the minister.

Beard said that it was ultimately not in the best interest of motorists and consumers who are now unable to accurately prepare for fuel price changes.

Read: Bad news for South Africa’s petrol prices heading into 2022

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Government makes changes around petrol price announcements