Petrol prices on the rise in Zimbabwe, South Africa

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FILE PHOTO: A petrol attendant fuels a car at a filling station in Harare, Zimbabwe, January 28, 2019, REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

Consumers in Zimbabwe will have even less money in their pockets thanks to a 26% increase in the price of petrol and diesel. Zimbabwe’s finance minister raised import tax on fuel last week in a move that puts even more pressure on citizens grappling with triple-digit inflation.

Prices of basic goods and services have more than doubled since June, when the government renamed the RTGS currency as the Zimbabwe dollar, which has been sliding in value amid widespread shortages, including power, fuel and U.S. dollars.

That has stirred memories among an increasingly impoverished population of economic chaos a decade ago, when rampant money-printing fuelled hyperinflation and forced the country to abandon its currency.

In a statement published on Sunday, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority said petrol would now cost 9.01 Zimbabwe dollars from 7.55. Diesel would cost 9.06 Zimbabwe dollars, a 26% increase.

Fuel prices have been increased four times since June and by more than 500% this year, as the value of the local currency has slid. But fuel shortages remain, with motorists spending hours queuing at the pumps.

Demand for fuel has also gone up as businesses use diesel generators due to 18-hour electricity cuts.

Zimbabwe’s fuel price hike follows a move by South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe to raise the petrol price there by 11 cents per litre.

However, diesel costs will decrease by 13.29 cents per litre or 14.29 cents per litre depending on the sulphur content.

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