No need to panic-buy petrol after closure of refinery, there are other suppliers: AA

14 July 2021 - 12:19 By ernest mabuza
The AA has warned motorists not to panic-buy as there is no official confirmation of a fuel shortage. File photo.
The AA has warned motorists not to panic-buy as there is no official confirmation of a fuel shortage. File photo.
Image: Theo Jeptha

Motorists should not panic-buy as there is no official confirmation that there is a fuel shortage.

This is the word from the Automobile Association (AA) on Tuesday after the country's largest crude oil refinery, Sapref, shut down operations on Monday amid the ongoing violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

The refinery is owned by Shell and BP, and is a key supplier of fuel for SA.

Shell could not say on Wednesday how the closure of Sapref will affect fuel supply to their filling stations.

"We are currently monitoring the situation and a risk-adjusted approach will be implemented," its spokesperson Dineo Pooe said.

She said the ongoing unrest was a concern for both business and civil society. “As an organisation, our priority is the safety of our people and the communities where we are located.”

Engen said it was closely monitoring the social unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and had put in place safeguards to protect its people, customers and infrastructure.

“We are consistently assessing our supply capabilities to ensure a safe and secure supply of our core petroleum products to the market.

“The safety and security of our workforce remains our overwhelming priority and we will ensure all measures are taken to ensure the safety of our people,” Engen external communications manager Gavin Smith said.

The longer the unrest continues, the longer supply is going to be compromised.
AA spokesperson Layton Beard

AA spokesperson Layton Beard said there was no official confirmation that there was a fuel shortage.

“Our message is not to panic. We have had no official confirmation there are fuel shortages and we would suggest people should not panic.”

Beard said the closure of the Durban refinery might result in a shortage of fuel supply but that there were other suppliers which had not shut down. “There are other suppliers. They will be supplying fuel. It is not a question that there will be no supply.”

Beard also advised motorists not to panic-buy.

“We still have sufficient supplies. We have not received any reports of stations running dry and reports that many stations have no petrol. We have heard very sporadic reports of stations rationing their fuel. Maybe they are concerned about their own reserves.”

He said with a large section of the N3 having been closed, this meant supply was going to be constrained going into the next week.

“The longer the unrest continues, the longer supply is going to be compromised.”

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