File photo: Entrance to the Durban habour. FFS Refiners is trying to drive change in KwaZulu-Natal by boosting small enterprises in the petroleum logistics sector.
DURBAN -  FFS Refiners, a supplier of hydrocarbon solutions, is trying to drive change in KwaZulu-Natal by boosting small enterprises in the petroleum logistics sector, which is dominated by global players. 

FFS Refiners national sales manager, Mduduzi Khanyile says small businesses in this sector are struggling to gain access to finance through traditional financial institutions as the amount of capital required to secure assets, such as a truck and trailer, is more than  R4 million.  

To combat this problem, the company last week handed over two trucks worth R5m to Novala Kashazi and Tona Logistics. 

The two small developing companies also received contracts to transport fuels for FFS Refiners. 

FFS Refiners’ head offices are in Durban with six other manufacturing sites throughout South Africa supplying a variety of industrial heating fuels, base oils and other petrochemical services like petroleum storage, used oil collection and others. 

“At FFS Refiners, we look for candidates that are at their early stages of their business development, but have strong potential and the hunger and drive for success. 

“We give them a head start  that will allow them to grow and reach a point of financial and operational independence where they can be considered a worthy prospect by the traditional financial institutions,” says Khanyile. 

FFS Refiners says that if small enterprises are neglected in KZN – and not assisted to become medium enterprises and ultimately big businesses – the overall state of the petroleum industry will stagnate and regress.

“That will be seen by slow gross domestic product and unemployment. In our small way, we plan to keep supporting the enterprise development initiatives of this nature and believe that they will grow to be significant contributors to the KZN business sector and create job opportunities for youth of our province.” says Khanyile.

Khanyile says by looking at the vision and the future aspirations of the recipients they have selected, FFS Refiners believe they will have a role to play in establishing businesses that will create employment, and reduce pollution from the petroleum products and the depletion of the limited fossil fuel in the future.

According to FFS Refiners, the KZN petroleum industry is centred around Engen Refinery and Sapref Refinery, of which both are international companies. 

Khanyile says that KZN offers a strategic location for global firms, where they pipe in crude oil and export final product. 

“The KZN government and these major companies should have serious engagement to find convincing strategies and implementation plans to create more business opportunities for the local small players,” he says.

BUSINESS REPORT