Cape Town – South African motorists are already paying R1.22 more for a litre of petrol and the pain is far from over.
Next month will see motorists forking out at least another 23c per litre of petrol when the fuel (15c) and Road Accident Fund levies (8c) kick in on April 1. This follows an 81c/l this Wednesday on top of last month’s 41c increase.
In January the petrol price dropped by 13c a litre.
According to the latest Bloomberg Gas Price Ranking which sorts 60 countries by average price at the pump and "pain at the pump", which measures the percentage of average daily income needed to buy a gallon of fuel, South Africa ranks no 41 and 11 respectively.
Although this means South Africa's petrol is among the world's cheapest, it still hurts consumers where it matters most – in their
“South Africans do face pain at the pump, the 11th most overall, which is made worse by the amount they consume,” the report said.
With low per capita incomes and moderate petrol use, South Africans are second only to Greeks in the share of their pay cheques that goes to filling up: 4.1%.
The report estimated the average daily income on $21 (R190). The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of fuel is 24%, where a gallon equates to 3.7854 litres of petrol.
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Turkey is ranked as the most expensive, with motorists having to shell out $9.89 a gallon (R89 for 3.7854 litres).
“The average Pakistani or Indian would have to put in more than a full day's work, on average, to afford a single gallon of gas in his country.
“And of course, not all gas tanks are created equal. For example, Americans guzzle more fuel than anyone else,” the report said.
And the cheapest country for petrol in the world? Venezuela - where filling up a 150 litre tank will set you back a meagre $2.34 (R21), compared with $128.31 (R1 166) in the US and $385.71 (R3 506) in Turkey.
The report however noted that Venezuela is a poor country that burns through fuel like a rich one. At 6 US cents a gallon it is the most subsidised and even with a relatively low daily income of $31, the share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is the lowest anywhere, at 0.2%.
President Hugo Chavez has in the past called for the country to reduce consumption, but with fuel this cheap there's little incentive. The last time the country tried to cut subsidies, in 1989, it was torn by riots that killed hundreds of people.
Only two other African countries are listed in the index: Nigeria is ranked 54th for cheapest at the pump, but at a 49% share of the average daily income of $4.74 to buy one gallon of petrol, its pain level is ranked at no 4, while Egypt ranks 57th for the fourth-cheapest fuel in the world and 26th for causing motorists pain at the pump.
Click here for a full list of the Bloomberg Gas Price Ranking, which lists countries by fuel price and pain at the pump.
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