While South African motorists prepare themselves for another steep increase in December, the real costs of South Africa’s petrol policies are likely to be felt in 2018.
This is according to Naamsa fuel and emissions working group chairperson Stuart Rayner, who said that South Africa is about 15 years behind the rest of the world in terms of fuel standards and quality.
“With the widespread introduction of new technology including new 4 way catalytic converter equipped vehicles in Europe during 2018 we will now find that for the first time since the 1996 introduction of unleaded petrol in South Africa – that many regular petrol engine motor cars as available to the general public in Europe will not be able to be marketed in South Africa,” said Rayner.
“This will effectively deny the motoring public access to latest low emission vehicle technology,” he said.
According to Rayner, automotive companies believe that any further progress is now unlikely without the widespread introduction of the latest engine technology which in turn requires new enabling fuels.
“It is illogical that vehicle manufacturers and importers should continue to be penalised for not introducing latest engine technology vehicles when many such vehicles will not be able to operate on South African fuel, and those models that are introduced may require expensive reverse engineering to use older less efficient engines.
“Product restrictions are already being applied to local companies by their foreign principles, particularly due to the lack of availability of clean fuels (low sulphur fuel).
“This calls into question the rationale for continued application of CO2 taxes on new motor vehicles in South Africa and reinforces the urgent need for the introduction of clean fuels in South Africa,” said Rayner.