LAST night’s fuel price increase in South Africa is set to have a knock-on effect on Lesotho with the Petroleum Fund Lesotho mulling an increase in the price of the commodity soon.
South Africa increased petrol by R1.62 per litre in Gauteng and R1.60 on the coast, diesel by between R1.20, on the coast, and R1.24, in Gauteng. The price of illuminating paraffin increased by 26c per litre while the Liquefied Petroleum Gas increased by 85c per kilogramme across the country.
The South African Department of Energy attributed this week’s petrol price increase to higher international prices for oil and the weakening of the rand against the US dollar.
The April increase marks the second consecutive petrol price rise due to a higher oil price and a weaker rand.
“There is no need to panic at this stage. Crude oil price fluctuations are not expected to be excessive if major geopolitical conflicts are excluded,” the department said.
Higher fuel and electricity costs would place particular strain on already tight household finances. Not only will motorists have to pay more for fuel next month, they face steeper electricity and water tariffs in April and possibly higher food prices.
With the oil price stable for now, all eyes will be on the rand to see if there will be another increase in prices in a month’s time.
Meanwhile Lesotho Petroleum Fund Financial Accountant Bohloko Lepamo confirmed the fuel price was likely to rise following the increases in South Africa.
Ms Lepamo said the board would soon finalise the new price after a meeting to be held next week.