Retailers realise significant drop in fuel volumes from last year

FUEL retailers are facing petrol and diesel shortages due to problems with the petroleum supply chain and have threatened to shut down service stations until their plea is taken seriously.

Fuel Retailers Association (FRA) chief executive Reggie Sibiya said yesterday that fuel shortages were being felt by “various oil companies and wholesalers” in the country.

“Some retailers are struggling to get any supply from the refineries and distributors that were shut down during lockdown. At the start of the shortage some weeks back, it seemed like the problem would be mitigated in the short to medium term. However, it is continuing and has already resulted in severe consequences for some retailers,” Sibiya said.

“For the fuel retailers, this is a very thorny issue. They lost up to 80% volumes during the level 5 and 4 lockdowns due to no product demand. To now not get product when the demand has slightly increased is an absolute mockery,” he said.

Sibiya said government needed to hold oil companies, which were members of the SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia), accountable as they had “got away with this for ages with no imminent recourse”.

He said fuel retailers were held in breach of contract when they ran out of fuel, but there was no recourse against oil companies for supply shortages because of “onerous and one-sided agreements”.

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