Fuel price hike looms in Lesotho




Rethabile Pitso

FUEL prices in Lesotho are likely to increase this week following South Africa’s announcement to hike fuel prices following increase in crude oil prices.

South Africa increased petrol by 96 cents a litre, diesel by 74 cents a litre and paraffin by 98 cents yesterday following an announcement by the South African Department of Energy and Mineral Resources last week.

“The pump price of both grades of petrol and the wholesale prices of diesel, illuminating paraffin and the maximum retail prices of both Illuminating paraffin and LPG will increase with effect from the 4th of March 2015,” the department said.

“The main reason for the fuel price increases is the average increase in the price of crude oil, by about 20 per cent, during the period under review compared to the previous period. The other reason is the depreciation of the rand against the US dollar.”
The department also said it believes that the price of crude oil will stabilise around the current level and as such no major price shocks are expected in the future.

The increase could have a knock-on effect on Lesotho as the country’s fuel prices are usually at par with South Africa.

The Lesotho Petroleum Fund is, however, expected to release an official statement this week following a board meeting today.

Last month, motorists enjoyed a reprieve as the price of all grades of petrol dropped by 93c a litre, by R1.02 a litre, illumination paraffin by R1.36 a litre.

The price increase is likely to hit hard consumers amid fears it will trigger a fresh round of increases in the prices of basic commodities.


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