Advertise with

Cape fuel supply starts to dry up
Cape fuel supply starts to dry up

Cape fuel supply starts to dry up


IOL Business - Dec 12th 2011, 09:37

A major fuel company says it has urgently diverted a fuel tanker on its way to Durban to Cape Town to alleviate a growing fuel shortage across the province and parts of SA. 

Shell SA spokesman Elton Fortuin confirmed the fuel shortage to the Cape Argus on Friday, explaining that it was due to four factors:

- Production issues at several refineries across the country.

- Rail logistical constraints in connection with transport.

- An increase in the demand for fuel after the 11 cent price drop this week.

- Extra demand as holidaymakers fill up in preparation for the annual festive season migration.

“In Gauteng, diesel availability is particularly constrained.

“We are transporting fuel via road from Durban to alleviate the situation, but retail sites are at risk of intermittent fuel stock-outs,” said Fortuin.

“To address the petrol supply constraint in the Western Cape, we have diverted an import vessel from Durban to Cape Town, which we expect to arrive over the coming weekend.”

The Fuel Retailers’ Association (FRA) confirmed the shortages in Cape Town and Gauteng.

FRA chief executive Reggie Sibiya said certain types of diesel and unleaded petrol (ULP95) were in low supply.

“Diesel and ULP95 are topping the product list of shortages,” he said.

BP and Caltex seemed to be the worst affected, Sibiya said.

Caltex is a brand of Chevron SA.

Chevron SA’s spokeswoman, Suzanne Pullinger, confirmed on Thursday that the company’s Cape Town refinery was operating at lower production levels, which had reduced the supply of unleaded petrol.

“We have a contingency plan in place to address the situation, which includes bringing product by ship into Cape Town.

“We have asked our industry partners to do the same.

“We want to assure our customers that the current situation is high-priority and we will keep them updated on our progress in rectifying the situation,” she said.

However, petrol station owners in Cape Town were optimistic.

Hannies Parker, owner of Primrose Service Station in Surrey Estate, which is supplied by Engen, said Friday morning he received his order of diesel and petrol on Thursday.

Although he was not guaranteed a supply, he was expecting another load on Friday.

Gracious Amatu, a worker at the Engen garage in Bonteheuwel, said the petrol station had supply problems last week due to an order mix-up but that supply returned to normal this week.

Tania Landsberg, communication manager at the Engen garage on Orange Street, said the station was managing “fairly okay”, but that it was aware of the industry-wide problem.

Economist Mike Schussler told the Cape Argus that the fuel shortages would not have an impact on food prices.

“There could be a problem for growth of the economy but it depends on how deep the problem goes. It will get worse if there is a consistent problem with fuel supply.”

Schussler said one concern about the shortages was that they came at the start of the busy holiday season.

“Coming during holidays, it is a bad time; it is worrisome,” he said.

This morning, Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde, who had just landed in Durban for discussions at the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) today, said: “These things drive me mad.

“Our tourism numbers are looking great, small businesses across the provinces are cranking their production lines to be ready for the season… and now this.

“We’re trying to grow the economy, we simply can't afford this.”

Winde said his office would be monitoring the situation “extremely closely”.  

Related News

Blackstone in $19bn deal to buy US warehouse assets from Singapore’s GLP
04/06/2019 - 10:57
Blackstone Group is buying US industrial warehouse properties from Singapore-based logistics provider GLP for $18.7bn, in what the companies billed as the largest private real estate transaction globally.

Stellenbosch Wine Routes reflect on a challenging, but ultimately rewarding 2019 harvest
14/05/2019 - 09:51
In 2018, the Western Cape experienced the crescendo of one of its most severe droughts in decades. On average crops were 15% lower than the previous year, and it is safe to say that most farmers entered 2019 with a sense of trepidation.

Is #BlackFriday affecting SA’s December retail trade?
19/03/2019 - 09:37
South Africa has seen the Black Friday sales phenomenon grow exponentially in recent years, quickly entrenching itself as a major calendar event on the local retail and shopping scene. The Black Friday sales bonanza, which takes place towards the end of November, is now bigger in SA than ever before. It is a boon for retailers, shopping centres and consumers. However, is Black Friday an emerging threat for the traditional December festive season sales boom?

Retail barometer sheds light on festive season trade and new age of consumer culture
01/03/2019 - 14:24
Growth in trading density (sales per square metre) in 2018 at monitored shopping centres in South Africa and Namibia continued to improve after a lacklustre 2017, according to a retail property barometer.

Western Cape has high hopes for marijuana market
11/02/2019 - 10:32
The Western Cape believes the medical cannabis market has significant potential to boost the local economy and is moving fast to position itself as the country’s main hub for this new industry.