South Africa considering buying Russian oil: minister

South Africa is considering buying oil from Russia as a possible measure to mitigate steep fuel prices, Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe said.

“It is an idea,” Mantashe to Bloomberg by phone from Cape Town. “Russian oil is not on the sanctions list.” A purchase is far from being finalized and would first have to go through a complex government procurement process, the minister said.

Despite the government’s efforts to extend petrol price relief, South Africa and much of the rest of the world face the possibility of continued petrol price hikes in the coming months as global oil issues continue, say economists.

Current fuel price increase forecasts show another R2.00/litre hike in the petrol price in July, to R26.18/litre – the highest petrol price South Africa has ever experienced. The diesel price is set to rise by R1.18/litre, taking it to R24.27/litre, again unprecedented.

Adding to the pressure is the end of fuel price interventions announced by the government in March. Fuel prices in July will see R1.50 kept off the general fuel levy. In August, this will be reduced to 75 cents per litre as the other 75 cents are added back.

With further reporting by Bloomberg.

Read: South Africa’s petrol price is heading towards R30/litre – get used to it

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South Africa considering buying Russian oil: minister