In an embarrassing blunder for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), the department said in a statement on Wednesday that it had erroneously announced on Monday that the petrol price would increase by 81 cents a litre as part of the December fuel adjustment.
However, the adjustment should have been an increase of 75 cents a litre for all grades of petrol.
The correction on Wednesday will offer slight relief for hard-pressed consumers and businesses.
“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,” the department explained.
“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,” it said in the statement.
The DMRE’s update means that the price of 95 unleaded petrol is now R20.29/l in Gauteng and other inland provinces. The petrol price has still hit a record high, breaching the R20/l mark in SA.
For motorists using 93 unleaded and LRP in their vehicles, the new inland petrol price is R20.07/l.
The 75 cents a litre December petrol price hike means that 95 unleaded in coastal provinces now costs R19.57/l, while 93 unleaded and LRP costs R19.55/l.
The DMRE pointed out in its statement that “the rest of the fuel prices are correct”.
It added that the reasons for the fuel price adjustments “remain as communicated”. These reasons essentially include the weakening of the rand against the dollar during November and the increase in international Brent oil prices.