Yesterday, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) announced that it had overstated the petrol price adjustment that came into effect on Wednesday by 6 cents.
Initially, it was announced that the price of petrol for 93 and 95 ULP and LRP will increase by 81 cents per litre, but the correct petrol price adjustment was actually an increase of 75 cents per litre.
“The 6 cents difference is due to the fact that the adjustment of wages for service station workers had already been implemented in September 2021.
“Although it is for the very first time that such an error has occurred in the history of basic fuel price determination in South Africa, the DMRE profusely apologises for the inconvenience caused. The rest of the fuel prices are correct,” the department said.
While some South Africans responded to this news by saying “what a difference” and “wow, a whole 6 cents cheaper!”, this actually amounts to millions of rands that motorists, who filled up before the government noticed the error, have lost.
As per IOL, the department’s director of fuel pricing mechanism, Robert Maake said:
“Unfortunately, the department doesn’t even have any mechanisms to refund people, this is the first time that this happens.
“If the retailers have collected this money and there is proof, in my view, as a retailer, I would refund that motorist because the money was not necessarily due to me, it was given to me erroneously.
“The department has informed all the stakeholders in the petroleum industry to effect the corrections immediately.”
Meanwhile, in a statement, the Automobile Association (AA) said “While we appreciate that errors occur, the impact of the fuel price on millions of South Africans cannot be underestimated.”