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Lower petrol prices raise fears of illegality

28 February 2017 - 09:04 By AZIZZAR MOSUPI
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

A new petrol station opened by the Dobsonville, Roodepoort, Leratong and Johannesburg Taxi Association has been hailed for its lower prices, but its legality has been called into question.

Opened specifically for taxi drivers in Roodepoort in November last year, the station boasts its petrol is 50c a litre cheaper than elsewhere. A social media user recently posted a slip from a purchase showing it was cheaper.

The station, whose prices are decided upon by the executive of the association, sells 93 octane petrol at R12.88 a litre, 95 octane at R13.12, and diesel at R12.66 a litre.

According to pricing regulations published by the Department of Energy in December last year , 93 unleaded was set at R13.38 and 95 unleaded at R13.62. Leaded 93 is also set at R13.38 and leaded 95 at R13.52, in fuel pricing zone 9C, under which Roodepoort falls.

The department said a difference of 50c a litre was excessive.

"All service stations in the same fuel pricing zone must have the same petrol price. Without having all the details, a difference of 50 cents looks excessive," said Thandiwe Maimane, spokesman for the department.

"Charging a different petrol price ... within the same fuel pricing zone is illegal [and] no one can be exempted from charging the gazetted petrol price ... " said Maimane.

The association's Zeblon Simelane said it was doing nothing wrong.

"The product belongs to us and we can decide on the prices." He said the association would make its own decisions about prices, in line with hikes recommended by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his Budget last week.