DURBAN - Labour union Uasa said the hefty November fuel price hikes will affect food prices and taxi fares which will have a knock-on effect on South African workers.
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, announced the adjustment of fuel prices based on current local and international factors with effect from November 3, earlier this week.
Mantashe said the main reasons for the fuel price adjustments are crude oil prices, international petroleum product prices and the rand/US dollar exchange rate.
Based on current local and international factors, the fuel prices for November will be adjusted as follows:
- Petrol for both 93 and 95 ULP & LRP will increase by R1.21 a litre.
- Diesel 0.05% will increase by R1.48 a litre.
- Illuminating paraffin (wholesale) will increase by R1.45 a litre.
“The hefty fuel price hikes coming into effect at midnight today will have a knock-on effect that will hit South African workers hard. We expect food prices and transport costs to increase accordingly, bringing more financial distress to our members,” said Uasa spokesperson Abigail Moyo.
Moyo said Uasa encourages its members and all citizens to start their festive savings as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary financial distress.
Susan Steward from Budget Insurance said with a massive fuel price hike looming, South Africans need to make every cent work as hard as it can.
“Price hikes and load shedding have had a massive impact on all of us. There are, however, ways to keep the lights on, the wheels turning, limit risk and save a substantial amount of money in the process,” she said
The insurer said with a few minor adjustments to driving habits and with regular car maintenance, you can boost the fuel efficiency of your car by as much as 40%.
“So, if you fill up 48 times a year at roughly R900 a tank, a 40% reduction in fuel consumption could save you over R17 000 a year,” it said.
Here are some tips to save on fuel:
- Service smart: A car can burn up to 30% more fuel if proper maintenance is not performed on a regular schedule, so make sure your car is serviced regularly. Things like worn spark plugs, worn rings, faulty injectors, sticky brakes, low coolant levels, dirty oil, and dirty filters all lead to inefficiency and higher fuel consumption
- Wheel wise: Check your car’s wheel alignment. Bad wheel alignment causes more friction, which takes more power to overcome and results in higher fuel consumption.
- Pressure check: Check for underinflated tyres, as these, too, increase resistance.
- Air con costs a cool buck: Use the air conditioning only when necessary, as it places additional load on the engine.
- Dead weight: Reduce the vehicle’s weight by removing unnecessary items from it and, if you mostly do city driving, consider driving with only half a tank of fuel.
- Nice and slow: Don’t speed. The gas-guzzling effects of “stepping on it” are well-known.
- Don’t stop-start: Maintain momentum by looking and planning ahead, flowing with traffic and timing your approaches to hills, traffic lights and crossings better.
- Geared for efficiency: Drive at the lowest speed in the highest gear that the road and traffic conditions allow, without labouring the engine.
- Tech savvy: Many vehicles have economy settings to optimise performance, throttle response, ride height etc for maximum fuel efficiency. Use them to your advantage.
- Plan ahead: Use your GPS to check for traffic and avoid problem areas. Do several tasks on one round trip, as opposed to many shorter ones. This eliminates unnecessary mileage and saves time.
- Wait out the rush: Battling through traffic not only increases fuel consumption, but causes wear and tear, especially on your vehicle’s transmission and brakes.