File picture: Karen Sandison / African News Agency (ANA).
File picture: Karen Sandison / African News Agency (ANA).

Energy Minister remains silent as SA diesel shortage worsens, DA says

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jun 14, 2020

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Cape Town - It is clear that the diesel availability situation in South Africa is worsening, despite industry and government protestations to the contrary, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

The DA remained extremely concerned at the lack of response from Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, his department, and Parliament, regarding the ongoing diesel shortages being experienced around South Africa, DA shadow minister of mineral resources and energy Kevin Mileham said in a statement.

Gauteng was among the worst hit, with numerous wholesalers and retailers reportedly "dry" and others experiencing difficulty in obtaining resupply, he said.

Although production had ramped up at the refineries and product imports had arrived in South African ports, the fact remained that it would still take at least a week for those products to reach inland markets.

This situation had been exacerbated by the theft of parts of the multi-product pipeline from Durban to Gauteng, which had now reportedly resumed operations, Mileham said.

Neither Mantashe nor Parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo had responded to the DA's request for an urgent briefing on what was being done to mitigate this crisis.

"South Africa's economy, and particularly our mining, agriculture, and transport sectors, all of which could be considered the 'life blood' of our economy, is being hamstrung by government ineptitude.

"It is clear that the situation with regard to diesel availability is worsening, despite industry and government protestations to the contrary and in spite of promises that normal supply would be restored by the end of May."

Mantashe and the heads of South Africa’s refineries should immediately brief the country on what the true status was, and when the country could really expect to have normal stock levels again, Mileham said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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