Government: no need for motorists to panic-buy fuel
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THE government has allayed fears of fuel shortages in the aftermath of this week’s mayhem and lawlessness.
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) yesterday discouraged consumers from panic-buying petroleum products following the looting of shopping centres and the destruction of property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
“The DMRE assures the nation that while there are challenges with regards of the movement of petroleum products to some parts of the country, there is sufficient product, and the government is working to secure the movement of all petroleum products. Thus, South Africans are discouraged from panic-buying and hoarding, as this action will exacerbate the current challenges,” the DMRE said in a statement.
The violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal have led to the temporary closure of South African Petroleum Refineries’ crude oil refinery south of Durban, which supplies a third of the country’s fuel needs.
The temporary shutdown was expected to have a ripple effect across the national supply chain for petroleum products.
“The DMRE encourages the mining and energy sectors to remain steadfast in working towards maintaining the safety and security of their operations and personnel. The department will continue to engage with the executives, as well as the various labour unions, of the sector,” said the DMRE.
South Africa was reeling from the disruptions to supply chains, because of the violent protests. State-owned Transnet said yesterday that service levels in the ports of Durban and Richards Bay had been negatively affected, “as the entire supply chain is closed, including the roads leading into and out of the ports”.
The Durban port is vital for the import and export of goods, while Richards Bay is the dry bulk terminal.
“The unrest and subsequent closure of roads has meant employees are not able to report for duty. All affected customers have been notified, and we continue to work on solutions to mitigate the current challenges to ensure that we are able to deliver goods into and out of the country,” said Transnet.