Fuel panic buying hurting supply chains

By Freddie Pierce
With over 100 petrol stations running dry, the Fuel Retailers' Association (FRA) in South Africa says panic buying is not helping the supply chain...

With over 100 petrol stations running dry, the Fuel Retailers' Association (FRA) in South Africa says panic buying is not helping the supply chain.

"We are awaiting information but filling stations are running dry. There were about 155 stations in Gauteng that were dry and we had information yesterday that 50 petrol stations in KwaZulu-Natal were dry," FRA CEO, Reggie Sibiya, said.

He said it was possible that refineries had underplayed figures.

The FRA is a registered employers' organization which monitors and becomes involved where necessary with aspects of retail fuel governance.

"Panic buying doesn't help, it actually puts more strain on the supply chain," Sibiya said.

He said there were issues at the three depots in Gauteng, namely Alrode, Langlaagte and Watloo, with supplies not being able to leave the depots.

"There were also reports of intimidation [from striking workers]," said Sibiya.

The association said it had asked the Labour and Energy Departments to intervene in the matter.

On Monday, members of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) marched in Johannesburg on their first day of strike action. Ceppwawu has been joined in the protest action by the General Industries Workers Union of SA and the SA Chemical Union.

Workers are demanding an increase to minimum wages and transport allowances, among others.

"The latest at this stage is that the National Bargaining Council for the Chemical Industries has proposed dates for a meeting, starting tomorrow. The unions will attend," head of the collective bargaining at Ceppwawu, Clement Chitja, said.

Edited by Kevin Scarpati

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