You now pay R320 in tax every time you fill up in South Africa

 ·1 May 2024

As of 1 May, South Africans will need to brace themselves to dig deeper into their pockets at the pump as new fuel price hikes and the continuation of previous tax increases take effect.

A large portion of South Africa’s petrol price is paid through levies, with the General Fuel Levy (GFL) and the Road Accident Fund Levy (RAF) accounting for the biggest chunks.

While motorists were given some breathing room for 2024, with no hikes in the general fuel levy or Road Accident Fund (RAF), there were marginal increases, such as the 1 cent and 3 cents per litre hike to the carbon tax for petrol and diesel, respectively.

With effect from 1 April 2024, the Fuel Levy in the price structure of petrol and diesel amounts to 396 c/l and 384 c/l respectively.

The Road Accident Fund Levy in the price structure of both petrol and diesel amounts to 218.0 c/l.

A breakdown of the taxes (for 95 Petrol), according to the department, is as follows:

  • Fuel levy: 396 cents per litre
  • Road Accident Fund levy: 218 cents per litre
  • Customs and excise: 4 cents per litre
  • Slate levy: 21.92 cents per litre
  • Petroleum products levy: 0.33 cents per litre

From 1 May 2024, R6.40 per litre goes towards some form of tax or levy when buying petrol – making up around 25.1% of the retail price.

Filling a 50-litre tank with 95 octane fuel in May will cost R1,274.50— or R1,257.50 for 93 octane.

This means you will pay an average of R320 in taxes every time you fill up in South Africa.

Other costs associated with the petrol price include transport costs (from the harbour to inland areas), customs and excise duties, retail margins paid to fuel station owners, and secondary storage costs.

Monthly petrol tax contributions

According to Discovery Bank’s data, Discovery Insure clients drive, on average, approximately 1,690km every month – commuting at least three days a week.

Considering this, we looked at how much the average South African would pay towards fuel taxes using the country’s best-selling cars right now.

As of Wednesday (1 May), South African motorists are paying R25.49 per litre of 95-octane unleaded petrol, while diesel users are paying R22.24 per litre for 0.005% (wholesale) inland.

The table below shows the potential tax contributions for an 1,690km traveled every month.

TypeCarCons. per 100kmCost of tax per 100kmMonthly tax contribution
CrossoverToyota Corolla Cross6.8LR43.52R735
SUVToyota Fortuner7.2L*R46.08R779
BakkieToyota Hilux7.1L*R45.44R768
HatchbackVW Polo Vivo5.7LR36.48R617
SedanVW Polo Sudan6.5LR41.60R703

Paying more 

The Department of Energy’s latest fuel price adjustments show the following changes will take effect from Wednesday, 1 May 2024:

  • Petrol 95: increase of 37 cents per litre;
  • Petrol 93: increase of 37 cents per litre;
  • Diesel 0.05%: decrease of 30 cents per litre;
  • Diesel 0.005%: decrease of 36 cents per litre;
  • Illuminating Paraffin: decrease of 19 cents per litre.

The movement in prices is typically affected by two main factors – international petroleum costs, and the movement in the rand/dollar exchange rate.

The average international product prices for Petrol increased during the period under review, while the rand depreciated against the US dollar, on average, when compared to the previous period.

This is how the price changes will reflect at the pumps (Diesel prices reflect wholesale, pump prices will differ):

InlandApril OfficialMay Official
93 PetrolR24.78R25.15
95 PetrolR25.12R25.49
Diesel 0.05% (wholesale)R22.45R22.15
Diesel 0.005% (wholesale)R22.60R22.24
Illuminating ParaffinR16.19R16.00
LPGAS (per kg)R38.12R37.66
CoastalApril OfficialMay Official
93 PetrolR23.99R24.36
95 PetrolR24.33R24.70
Diesel 0.05% (wholesale)R21.66R21.36
Diesel 0.005% (wholesale)R21.84R21.48
Illuminating ParaffinR15.19R15.00
LPGAS (per kg)R35.16R34.70

Read: Here is the official petrol price for May

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