Household gas prices capped

2010-07-12 09:26

Cape Town -  Prices for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) will be capped from this week by the department of energy.

From Wednesday retailers at the coast can charge no more than R15.69/kg for LPG, and in Gauteng no more than R17.27/kg.

From August, LPG prices will be adjusted every month - like those of petrol and diesel.

Departmental spokesperson Bheki Khumalo said LPG is used mostly by wealthier South Africans for heating or camping purposes. But LPG is not readily available to low-income households, which generally use wood or paraffin for cooking or heating.

The department believes LPG prices are excessive because of the high profit margins along the entire value chain – from the filling of cylinders to the cash register.

The department said regulating the maximum retail price provides LPG industry players with fair compensation for their capital investment and operating costs.

A maximum retail price will also encourage competition in the industry, and make LPG more accessible to the public.

Khumalo said the wider use of LPG also accords with the department's policy to broaden the energy mix. LPG is moreover a safe and effective source of energy for cooking and heating, and an effective alternative to electricity.

A retailer who spoke to Sake24 did not believe the department would be able to enforce the maximum retail price immediately. Another retailer knew of the department's plans to regulate LPG prices, but had been unaware that they applied from Wednesday.

Cape LPG prices are currently around R20/kg, while a Rustenburg Sake24 reader had to pay R26/kg last week.

 - Sake24.

  • Alain - 2010-07-12 09:48

    I still think paying R153 for a std 9 kilo bottle is excessive. 4 years ago we were paying R85 for a bottle and to my knowledge afrox/airliquide (main 2 suppliers) have not contributed any new capital expenditure to the creation of LPG gas. we are encouraged (forced) to use alternate energy but the alternate is more costly than eskom.. go figure

  • Dumpy - 2010-07-12 09:55

    About time. I am tired of being ripped off by the garages.

  • Louie - 2010-07-12 10:04

    I filled up a 9kg in Krugersdorp on Saturday, cost me 153.00, works out to 17/kg

  • chris davy - 2010-07-12 10:06


  • jerry - 2010-07-12 10:06

    is there an objective study on the cost comparison between electric , solar and LPG geysers ?

  • James - 2010-07-12 10:09

    Govt, get your dirty paws out of it. Regulation invariably hurts the small operator more than the big one because the big one has the economy of scale to maximise smaller margins. What if the small guy fills a niche somewhere supplying a gas filling service in an inaccessible area? Now he has to charge the same as a big player that can procure his stock at lower cost. Not only that but you distort the market so people start relying on something that may be falsely underpriced... who picks up the cost of the inefficiencies? the tax payer.

  • Joe - 2010-07-12 10:14

    Now I'm not the sharpest knife i the drawer. what will I pay for what is commonly termed a 9kg cylinder? Or for that matter a no7 cylinder?

  • Stuart Lidstone - 2010-07-12 10:14

    I exchanged 2 x 9kgs last night at a the TOTAL Garage in Sedgefield near Knysna and paid R181 per Gas Cylinder which is R20.11 per kg!

  • Sam - 2010-07-12 10:24

    Great News.

  • Q - 2010-07-12 10:31

    Its about time. but how will they enforce this? is there somewhere we can report non-compliance?

  • 50 CALIBER - 2010-07-12 10:36

    My house is a complete 12Volt system with my heating and cooking done by gas. Very efficient. I and others who use LPG have been ripped off for years. It's about time there was a price control on this product. Bring on price control for many other household necessities as well.

  • Kevin - 2010-07-12 10:48

    It's about time

  • sunny - 2010-07-12 11:22

    Hooray..finally we can keep warm..and not pay for it with an arm and a legf..some guys were charging R240 for 9kg..ridiculous...

  • md - 2010-07-12 11:36

    its about time it is far cheaper than electricity for cooking i use a 48kg bottel & it lasts me 10 months with daily cooking

  • S - 2010-07-12 11:52

    R220 per cylinder, last time I went to a garage. What a criminal ripoff. Found another place that charges R120 for a 9kg.

  • Noel - 2010-07-12 12:00

    What the hell? - Last year we were told that it would lead to a significant reduction in the price and the controlled price mentioned would have meant paying less that R100 for a 9 KG refill. I currently pay R150 for 9KG, so suddenly no savings at all?? I smell a big "backhander" rat!!

  • Alyson - 2010-07-12 12:55

    I was quoted R1159 for a 48kg cylinder last week, but managed to get one for R861 eventually. Total rip off if you ask me. Glad that something is getting done about it.

  • yeahbut - 2010-07-12 13:12

    Who determined what was an acceptable profit margin ? Will this lead to less retailers ?

  • Derick - 2010-07-12 13:28

    So now goverment are going to tell the retailer what marging he can make too, I am all for competitve prices on LPG for ALL south Africans but if the retail margin is going to be sub 6% then the independent retailers will close. smell a rat for more back hands for the petrol stations and goverment. the truth be told, this is suppossed to be for the lower income group but this customer is not interested in 9kg cylinders as he cannot carry them so rather goes for the smaller bottles so department of energy are wrong again, suckers dont do their homework!!

  • Francois - 2010-07-12 14:57

    R15.69/R17.27 excluding VAT?

  • Gary Johnston-Webber - 2010-07-12 15:25

    It would be very interesting to discover if these so called capped prices announced here are INCLUSIVE of VAT or not?? - This makes a huge difference if VAT has to be added on top of the capped price.

  • M I A - 2010-07-12 16:17

    Government went and capped the price of the gas.They forgot to cap the rent , the credit card merchant fees which is 5% of the complete sale,and labour costs and the biggest component for a service station -- the oil company's fees which is +_ 8% .All that this will inevitably lead to is more travel to get the gas ---> coming back to the same cost of R 20.00 per kg.The only component that benefits out of this, is the government.It will be patting itself on the back for destroying another industry through interference .It turns a blind eye to illegal filling but polices and stiffles the legitimate gas resellers.

  • Joe - 2010-07-12 17:35

    All of you people that are for the price regulations do not know what you are standing for. Please consider how many people will lose their work because of small retailer that will have to close because of this price regulations. Many small retailers get there gas at R 15.00/kg incl. Of VAT. Government want to regulate price at R13,76 excl. Vat or R 15,69 incl. VAT. This was not thought through again. Lower income groups use 3kg & 5kg cylinder and not 9kg , 19kg and 48kg. Something needs to be done , Government does not know of the impact this will have. I have been in the gas industry for 8 years and believe me this is wrong.

  • Frank - 2010-07-12 18:06

    The LPG manufacturers have been unhappy with the price war that has been ruling this industry for some time. The regulation of the price of LPG is nothing more than LEGALISED PRICE COLLUSION for the LPG Wholesalers. The wholesale price supplied to me is now suddenly going up by 18,7%. I am expected to supply LPG to the consumer at a margin of 8%. If I work out all the expenses involved it is not a financially viable proposition and I, like many other retailers, will simply not have LPG on my offer any longer. So much for making LPG "more readily available"

  • Frank - 2010-07-12 19:08

    I would like all LPG Gas retailers to contact me at so that we can address our concerns

  • Luke - 2010-07-12 19:13

    And we in Libya pay R9 for 20kg gas. Yes R9 (nine)

  • Errol de Lange - 2010-07-12 21:52

    I have recently joined a small independant company which import and distribute a range of very high quality gas cooking hobs at more than competitive prices. Now with the new price control on LPG gas versus the ever increasig Eskom pricesing .About time us consumers can save ourselves time and money,just like the "SWISS"

  • DAVID ESTERHUYSEN - 2010-07-12 23:23

    I am sincerely to be convinced that the DME is on the right track. In essence the DME has confused availability with affordability to the extend that they served the 'Smiling Producers' effectively with increased margins, eliminated the low cost distributors and will pay the price in terms of availability.

  • Andy - 2010-07-13 10:25

    I am a small retailer. Firstly I have no problem with gas regulation, but the new regulations just squeeze the retailer not the wholesaler. I deal with an accredited gas supplier who charges us R 16.70 per kg ( exc VAT ). The regulated maximum price is R 17.27 per kg ( presumably exc VAT ). This is a 3.4% mark up. Most customers who buy gas use a credit card for which there is a 5% charge. Do the math, before we look at ANY other costs, there is a loss of 1.6%. These are genuine numbers. Unless the wholesaler reduces their price, we will not continue to sell gas ( most gas customers do not buy anything else, so it is not worth it to sell it as a loss leader ). There are so many regulations to run a small business legally in this country as it is. We have been constantly undercut by illegal gas suppliers ( with no accreditation or safety procedures in the refilling of cylinders ) and the consumer only looks at the cheapest price, not taking into account : 1. Unsafe cylinders 2. Short filling of cylinders I agree with a previous comment that availability will decrease dramatically and the consumer will pay more to travel to get the gas.

  • JJR - 2010-07-13 11:36

    A solution to accredited gas suppliers. As a consumer, I only use accredited agencies due to the safety aspect. I propose the following: Give me an invoice for the gas @ 15.69/kg and add what you need to for the labour of filling it. There is no capping on charging out your worker at R12.69 for a 3 kg, R21.55 for a 5kg, R38.79 for a 9kg, etc. The labour charge is for the time spent on filling the bottle.

  • Yolande - 2010-07-13 13:47

    I paid R219 for 9kg lasted about a week with my gas off!!

  • Gabriel - 2010-07-13 15:52

    The Dept of energy and minerals want us retailers to work on R10.80 profit on a 9kg gas A credit card transaction fee that is payable by the retailer on the regulated price is R7.06 leaving the retailer R3.74 profit Do we send them the Dept an invoice to cover the rest of our expenses?

  • Herman - 2010-07-13 20:46

    Now aint this a funny site to behold :D The only people on here crying are the retailers, and I wonder why. You have been making a killing of LPG for years. It was never regulated and paying R 250 for a 9kg is not unheard of. You have no one but yourself to blame for it needing to be regulated. Now pls, go and full up the bottles I will be needing a refull tomorrow :)

  • justme - 2010-07-13 20:50

    This was a long time coming. The LPG gas industry have themselves to blame. So adhere or go bust. Someone else will take up the opportunity when you leave. So sell out then. Bye! You can alway put a notice. "GAS CASH ONLY" So instead you want to overcharge me 50% for a 5% credit card levy? The price should come down more so we can get off the electrical grid.

  • Justme - 2010-07-13 20:57

    Gas should have been regulated years ago.

  • Koos - 2010-07-14 08:16

    I will be able to save R55 over the price that I paid at BP two weeks ago for 9Kg. Much better.

  • John - 2010-07-14 08:27

    About time too!!

  • Anita - 2010-07-14 10:29

    according to News24, new regulation is in place today. just phoned Afrox and they have not received any notification of price capped. So do we still have to pay their amount which is 16,27/kg?

  • Concerned - 2010-07-14 10:31

    Agree, it is about time regulation came about in this industry. Now it is just a few other industries that need regulation like Motor Industry, Rental of Office Automation equipment where suppliers of equipment (and the rental agreement) do as they please and rip off unsuspecting clients and financial managers of companies.

  • GS - 2010-07-14 13:48

    I am a small gas retailer (hardware store). We currently pay the local Afrox distributer R157.66 for 9Kg. We sell for R189, a GP of R31.34. Credit card commission reduces this by R9.45, leaving R21.89 or 11.58%. Anyone who thinks tis is a "rip-off" must work for the Government! We phoned our supplier as well as Afrox this morning and neither had heard anything official, and were I to order more gas today I would pay the old price.

  • Malcolm - 2010-07-14 16:01

    Just priced 9kg at Brights Boston Bellville at R190.They will change price when they receive confirmation of price in writing from relevant authorities. Cafe down the road charges R170.

  • Joe - 2010-07-14 18:08

    Just today I was charged R566 for two 9kg bottles of gas. This works out to about R31/kg. When I mentioned the capping of prices the shop owner became quite hostile. His attitude was "F" them !

  • Eye Blind - 2010-07-15 10:02

    maybe regulation is a good thing as there are retailers out there that do rip off the end user. But the only one's being regulated are the retailers at the moment and all the blame for the price's are being put on the retailer. As a retailer myself maybe the focus should be move to the supplier and the gov levy's and the fat cat's that all take their share in the middle. These are the people who are still making the money as they have taken no cut on their portion that they claim on the price. You as the public would be very shocked to see the amount that they take... So once again the retailer takes the blame... makes you think??

  • Lala - 2010-07-15 12:33

    wow...sounds good. I paid R196 for 9kg (filled up) last week at the Engen garage in Gauteng. About time the prices are regulated...but still to expensive.

  • Rita - 2010-07-15 13:24

    LMAO!!!! I'd end up paying exactly what I paid before or (depending where I buy) even more!!! So who is this supposed to help?

  • jacob motaung - 2010-07-15 15:29

    I paid R230,00 for a 9kg bottle at the Total Garage at Illovo.This was a rip-off indeed.

  • Ben - 2010-07-16 09:49

    Paid R 19.04 per kg (excluding VAT) at George Gas yesterday. When I queried the price I was told that they had not been formally informed of the maximum price of R 15.69. Overcharged: R 3.35 / kg.

  • clive - 2010-07-16 10:58

    I regularly pay R130 for a 9 kg that's R14-50 a kg (or even R124 at Afrox)in Oudtshoorn so retailers are still making a killing at R15-89 per kg.

  • Crash - 2010-07-19 14:31

    What a gas! I think we all agree on regulating national consumed energy supply. Could you imagine deregulating the price of petrol and diesel? I also agree with the retail gas supplyer especially in a small town for instance, he will simply discontinue supply, and wipe his hands off it. So what is the cosumer going to do? The problem is that Government did not make the effort to look into the logistics of this regulation. Now that they have got themselves directly involved, it is their duty to regulate the producer and wholsaler supply prices as well with great hast and speed. If not; I am afraid that the rural consumer who this was intended for in the first place will not have a gas supply in his area any more. So what does it prove, once again the city dwellers smiling and the rural foke sitting without. Sad isnt it!

  • Joh - 2010-07-19 16:46

    I just paid R179 for a 9kg! Where does one report offenders??

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