Business Insider Edition

The petrol price is up 32% since 2012 – even though right now a barrel of oil costs almost exactly what it did then

James de Villiers , Business Insider SA
 Oct 02, 2019, 04:06 PM
(Business Insider South Africa)
(Business Insider South Africa)
  • Petrol in SA is 32% more expensive today than what it was in 2012 - despite the Brent crude oil price roughly being the same. 
  • The difference is almost wholly attributable to taxes on fuel which grew by more than 90%.
  • When margins, retail income and distribution cost are included, 55% of the fuel price is unrelated to the oil price itself. 
  • For more go to Business Insider. 

The South African petrol price is 32% more expensive than what it was in October 2012, despite the price of Brent Crude oil in rand terms being roughly the same.

South Africa does not have its own natural oil reserves and is, therefore, dependent on oil imports to meet local demand. 

According to ExchangeRates.org, South Africa paid R938 per barrel of oil on October 1 2012, compared to the R907.94 it paid for a barrel of oil on Tuesday.

Also read: Treasury wants to deregulate the petrol price - but an analyst believes this will not bring cheaper fuel, only more price volatility

The South African petrol price, however, increased from R12.20 inland in October 2012 to R16.21 inland on Wednesday, the department of energy’s own records show.

This means the petrol price increased by 32.9% since 2012. 

How taxes on fuel increased since 2012.
How taxes on fuel increased since 2012.

The increase is almost entirely attributable to the increase in fuel taxes, which now contributes 34% of the fuel price. 

The direct tax on petrol grew from R1,97 in 2012, to R3,52 in 2019, and the Road Accident Fund taxes from R0,88 to R1,98. 

Also read: PetroSA says its Mossel Bay plant will run out of gas by December 2020 - placing 1,500 jobs at risk

In June, the national treasury also introduced a 9c carbon tax on fuel which does not go towards funding ‘green’ projects, but is redirected towards the national budget. 

Combined, the taxes on fuel grew from R2,89 in 2012 to R5,63 in 2019 -  a growth of 94.7%. 

The margins, taxes and distribution costs added to
The margins, taxes and distribution costs added to the Fuel price in October (supplied, department of Energy)

When related fuel costs such as margins, retail income and distribution cost are included, 55% of the South African fuel price is unrelated to the oil price itself.

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