A stronger rand means that motorists will benefit from a drop in the petrol price, the Automobile Association (AA) said on Monday.
The rand performed well from mid-January, due mainly to positive sentiment in the country in the aftermath of Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president.
This has saved South African consumers from another petrol increase, after the price of oil crude increased in December.
“International (fuel) prices have risen by around 11% in a streak starting on 14 December 2017,” the AA said, commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.
“Fortunately for South Africans, the rand/US dollar exchange rate has enjoyed a strengthening trend for almost as long, with the local currency accelerating its gains since the middle of January,” it said.
“It is important for political leaders to note the strengthening effect the recent more hands-on governance approach has had on our exchange rate, reducing many input costs for both businesses and private citizens,” the AA said.
In reviewing the fuel price history during 2017, the AA said the year saw some of the highest fuel prices in the country’s history.
“It is inescapable that almost all sudden movements are associated with political events. We appeal to the government to take a more judicious approach to policy and governance in future, as rand weakness affects poorer people disproportionately,” the AA said.