What the SA petrol price could look like in 2020

If South Africa’s petrol price continues to increase in line with historical trends, it could double in the next six years.

This is according to data compiled by trade union Solidarity.

Looking at historical petrol price data from 1976 to present, Solidarity senior researcher Paul Joubert calculated the average time it has taken for the petrol price to effectively double over the past few decades.

According to the research, the petrol price has doubled every six and a half years since the 1980s.

Taking this trend into account and looking forward, this means that the petrol price in Gauteng could hit R28.32 per litre by the middle of 2020.

Year Half of the following price Actual closest price to half of following price Time taken for price to double
April 1976 R0.22 R0.24  –
June 1979 R0.44 R0.54 3 years, 2 months
September 1988 R0.89 R0.95 9 years, 3 months
November 1994 R1.77 R1.76 6 years, 2 months
March 2001 R3.54 R3.59 6 years, 4 months
November 2007 R7.08 R6.90 6 years, 8 months
April 2014 R14.16 R14.16 6 years, 5 months
October 2020 R28.32  – 6 years, 6 months

It should be noted that the forward projection is based on historic data, and doesn’t account for the many unknowable variables which may have an impact on the petrol price.

For example, 2015 saw a cheaper price every month of the year when compared to 2014, due to a massive crash in the global oil price at the start of the year.

Conversely, many of the benefits that fed onto the local petrol price from the oil crash were undone by a poor performance by the local economy, which pushed the rand to new lows against the dollar.

Research by Bloomberg previously showed that, while South Africa doesn’t have the most expensive petrol in the world – by quite some margin – it does have the biggest proportional annual spend on fuel in the world.

More on the petrol price

Petrol price in South Africa: 2015 vs 2014

Petrol price set to increase in December

Petrol price rankings: South Africa vs the world

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What the SA petrol price could look like in 2020