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South Africans will pay R313 tax every time they fill up with petrol

Fuel attendant

South Africans can expect to pay significantly more at the petrol pumps from Wednesday (7 April), with fuel price increases and new taxes taking effect.

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

Increases to these taxes were announced by Finance minister Tito Mboweni in his February Budget speech, with the levies charged on every litre of petrol sold.

With effect from 7 April 2021, the Fuel Levy in the price structure of petrol and diesel will therefore amount to 393.0 c/l and 379.0 c/l respectively.

The Road Accident Fund Levy in the price structure of both petrol and diesel will amount to 207.0 c/l on the same day.

There is also an increase in the transport tariff taking effect – ranging between 0 cents and 2.8 cents per litre – which averages to an additional 1.2 cents per litre added to the price, the department said.

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

  • Fuel levy: 393 cents per litre
  • Road Accident Fund levy: 218 cents per litre
  • Customs and excise: 4 cents per litre
  • Demand-side management levy: 10 cents per litre
  • Other levies: 1 cent per litre

Together these costs mean that around R6.26 per litre will go to some form of tax or levy when buying petrol from Wednesday – around 36% of the retail price.

Using this current data, filling a 50 litre tank of fuel (95 octane) will cost R866 and R855 for 93 octane. This means that you will effectively pay R313 towards 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.

petrol and diesel prices

Paying more

The Department of Energy latest fuel price adjustments shows the following changes will take effect from Wednesday, 7 April 2021:

  • Petrol 95: increase of R1.00 per litre;
  • Petrol 93: increase of 95 cents per litre;
  • Diesel 0.05%: increase of 65 cents per litre;
  • Diesel 0.005%: increase of 63 cents per litre;
  • Illuminating Paraffin: increase of 35 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. However, in April hikes in fuel levies also come into effect.

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

The average rand/US dollar exchange rate for the period 26 February 2021 to 30 March 2021 was 14.9829 compared to 14.7631 during the previous period.

This led to a higher contribution to the Basic Fuel Prices on petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by 10.70 c/l, 10.03 c/l and 9.71 c/l respectively.


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Shauwn Mkhize

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