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Friday, July 12, 2024

Fuel Retailers Cry Foul Over Price Announcement Delays

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The Fuel Retailers Association has complained that the delay and confusion around the latest fuel price announcement has cost retailers.

This after the Department of Mineral and Petroleum released the statement late in the evening on Tuesday with the implementation of the new price adjustment deferred to Thursday.

The confusion comes as many service stations thought the price adjustments were in effect on Wednesday as per usual.

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However, this was not the case and this has led to retailers short-changing themselves.

The Department of Minerals and Petroleum releases fuel price adjustment statement on a monthly basis.

These price adjustments are effective every first Wednesday of the month.

But there’s been regular delays in the past few years in releasing the statement.

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But this has never affected the day that all price adjustments must be effective.

The latest incident brought about confusion to many retailers.

This is because some retailers adjusted the pumps on Wednesday midnight as per normal.

“There was an unfortunate incident in that there was a press release, it was an official document. And that document actually stated that. The price change would be affected on the 3rd. So, because of the panic, that document got really fast tracked in terms of its circulation in the industry. So, as we speak, I think retailers who got it then had to at some point set up the pump prices or leave the information with the people that do the pump price administration at night. And those people only had that document. And that’s how then some service stations ended up selling, you know at discounted price. If I may say, or a price reflecting a decrease because they’ve got that document. And this is a huge loss to those retailers,” says Fuel Retailers Association CEO Reggie Sibiya.

Meanwhile, it’s good news for motorists as fuel prices dropped for the second consecutive month this week.

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The Department announced that the price of all fuel products will decrease effective 4 July 2024.

“Petrol 93 octane will decrease by R1.05 a liter, 95 octane will decrease by 99 cents a liter, diesel will decrease by between 22 and 30 cents a litre. Illuminating paraffin will decrease by 24 cents, retail level and LP Gas will decrease by 22 cents per kilogram. The reason for these adjustments is the lower oil prices and slightly stronger rand during the period under review and also in line with the provision of the self-adjusting slate levy mechanism. The slate levy will be zero on both petrol and diesel, which is a reduction of 4.38 cents per litre,” says Fuel Pricing Senior Manager at the department Robert Maake.

While the news is welcomed by many, the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA) says the decrease cannot undo the effects of the many months of fuel increases.

“As important as these decreases are, they are not enough to undo years of fuel price increases which made fuel expensive and inaccessible for many. This down form in prices is part of a zigzag on the graph that is generally moving upwards. The basis of this down form rests on the precarious movement of the rand which gained some strength against the dollar and the decline in price of crude oil, all of which are likely not going to be sustained,” says GIWUSA media officer Koketso Phasha.

The Fuel Retailers Association urges the department to release the monthly statements timeously to avoid costly confusions.

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