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Gauteng fuel shortage ‘over in the next couple of days’

| Economic factors

Petrol stations in Gauteng will continue to run dry, while the rest of the country remained unaffected by the fuel shortage, the Fuel Retailers Association said.

CEO Reggie Sibiya said there were still shortages, and BP service stations were the worst affected.

“Products affected are Unleaded Petrol 93, Unleaded Petrol 95 and Diesel 50. Both the Alrode Depot and Langlaagte Depot have, on more than one occasion, run out of these products,” he said.

“Over 100 service stations also reported running dry of one or more of these products over the past two days.”

He said the shortage was exclusive to Gauteng.

“We are told that over and above the planned shutdown at the Engen Refinery [Enref] in Durban, disruptions occurred on production at SAPREF, leading to product shortages via pipeline from the coast to inland.”

The South African Petroleum Refineries [SAPREF] – a joint venture between Shell Refining SA and BP Southern Africa – are located in Durban and on the east coast of the country.

Sibiya said the association was concerned because little had been done to “buffer stock and storage capacity to mitigate things like planned maintenance shutdowns, especially in critical areas like Gauteng”.

“It is always the small sites that become marginalised and have to incur expenses like wages and electricity when there are no products to sell,” he added. “Some sites have been running dry since Friday.”

He said while the situation seemed to be improving, he was not sure when it would be resolved.

“We hope it will be over in the next couple of days.”

Meanwhile, the South African Petroleum Industry Association in KwaZulu-Natal said it was not affected.

“Our refinery is fully online and producing petroleum products,” said Cindy Govender, the association’s sustainable development manager.

News24 contacted various service stations in KwaZulu-Natal, including the Shell garage in Overport, Shell on the corner of Innes Road and Lillian Ngoyi Road and the BP garage on Che Guevara Road. None were affected by the fuel shortage.

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