When petrol prices increase,  food prices also increase. Prices at the Matrix, Pig and West campus have increased, making it difficult for students to afford simple meals.

“A fall in petrol price doesn’t mean a fall in food prices. It just means food prices will rise at a slower rate”, said economist Chris Hart on eNCA news

A litre of  95 octane costs R12,47 in Gauteng,  a fall from R13,20; R12,24 for 93, R11,41 for 500ppm diesel and R11,45 for 50ppm diesel.

The sudden reduction of 73cents is a result of the rand dollar exchange rate and the oil price. Last month the rand strengthened (against the US dollar) and the oil price declined, which led to a decrease in the petrol price.

Lebohang Moeletsi, a strategic management student at Unisa, doesn’t think the fall in the petrol price will be significant to consumers: “the decrease in the petrol price will not have a significant impact on administered prices”.

Moeletsi said this was because the recent large increases in the petrol price have already been built into what consumers pay and the “current decrease is negligible in comparison”.

The reduction in the petrol price comes after some steep increases in recent times. Two and a half years ago, a litre of 95 octane petrol cost just R8,32 in Gauteng.

What this means for Witsies is that the decrease in petrol prices is relatively small compared to the increase in the daily spending on food. The fact that the petrol price has declined by 73cents doesn’t necessarily mean we will have more money to spend.

Another worrying factor is that the petrol price is very volatile which means we may see another substantial increase before the end of the year.