Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Government calls for review of fuel stocks

By Nadia Samie

Government has called for an urgent review of fuel stocks. After a meeting held in Pretoria yesterday between Minerals and Energy Minister, Lindiwe Hendricks and captains of the fuel industry, it emerged that fuel companies had broken a moral agreement by not keeping the required 30 day fuel supply, resulting in the current fuel shortages. The shortages are now spreading to neighbouring countries as well. Nhlanhla Gumede, the Chief Director of hydrocarbons in Hendricks department, says that in line with the basic fuel price mechanism motorists pay about 2 or 3 cents a litre for the costs incurred by fuel companies to store 30 days fuel supply. The fuel shortage is also the result of "bad planning" on the part of the South African oil industry. "Emergency imports" are now being purchased from tankers to cope with the shortage of fuel in the province, while refineries with surpluses are sending fuel by rail to Cape Town, the city worst hit. Cape Town now has four days' aviation fuel in stock and more is being produced.


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