’SA lost more than 20 000 tons of crude a day during unrest’
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Cape Town - As a result of the shutting down of South Africa’s fuel refinery during the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the country lost 24 000 tons of processing of crude a day.
This comes as Sapref Refinery (jointly owned by Shell and BP) was closed for the safety of the infrastructure and employees who could not travel to work.
On Tuesday, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy briefed the portfolio committee on the impact the looting had on the sector.
Minister Gwede Mantashe noted that fuel supply in KZN was temporarily disrupted, while supply in Gauteng came under strain during the violent looting.
He said there were no disruptions in the mining sector, although there were threats of disrupting the supply of essential input.
The deputy-director general of Petroleum and Petroleum Products Regulation, Tseliso Maqubela, said the crude losses would impact on the 2.7 billion litres of petrol a year that Sapref produced.
“When the riots broke out, there was an impact on the movement of the workers to and from Sapref which constituted 35% of the South African refinery capacity.
“The supply and logistic disruption of highways to and from posts on Durban posed a threat to the mining industry as it was difficult to transport explosive materials used in the mines,” said Maqubela.
He said the impact on the disruption to the mineral sales would be clear when the department reported its July statistics, but added that jobs had been affected in the sector. He believed, however, that those jobs would be recovered once the fuel stations had recovered.
“Refurbishments costs to companies and insurance still have to be accurately calculated,” he said.
Cash in-transit operations were suspended to and from the retail service stations, said Maqubela.
“The estimated cost of the damage to the retail service station is R281 127 million and about 1 579 jobs were impacted temporarily.”
The overall damage the looting had on the country was estimated to be around R50 billion.