Claims of unscrupulous informal LP Gas dealers threatening Khayelitsha residents

It is reported that unscrupulous LP gas dealers are threatening Khayelitsha residents in Cape Town, forcing residents to buy the gas from them instead of at the service station where it is cheaper.

Kevin Robertson, CEO of the LP Gas Safety Association of SA says the LP gas retailers in Khayelitsha don't adhere to prices set by the Department of Energy.

Robertson says they spoke to an elderly woman who lives in Khayelitsha.

She described how she walked 2kms to the service station carrying her empty cylinder. On her way back carrying a full cylinder, she passed the informal ‘dealer’ who threatened her. He apparently demanded she either pay the ‘dealer’ the difference between the price she paid at the service station and the price she would pay at the ‘dealer’ or the 'dealer' would take her cylinder.

This is scary on multiple levels...

Kevin Robertson, CEO of the LP Gas Safety Association of SA

Robertson says they are in talks with the department of energy to regulate these dealers so that there could be some kind of price control.

If they are not licenced, they can just open up anywhere and you'll have no chance of tracing them unless you continuously go to the area and monitor.

Kevin Robertson, CEO of the LP Gas Safety Association of SA

The price of a 9kg cylinder of LP Gas exchanged at a service station just outside Khayelitsha was R23,72/kg or R213,48 for the 9kg cylinder.

Price of a 9kg cylinder of LP Gas exchanged at a ‘dealer’ a short distance inside Khayelitsha was R38, 66/kg or R347, 97 for the 9kg cylinder, and this is assuming the cylinder was correctly filled.

The problem is they don't fill the cylinders properly. It's either they underfill them, which means they cheat the customer even more, or they overfill it which can be a very dangerous situation. A cylinder can only be filled to 80% of its capacity as a safety measure.

Kevin Robertson, CEO of the LP Gas Safety Association of SA

Another thing is that they don't maintain those cylinders.

Kevin Robertson, CEO of the LP Gas Safety Association of SA

To hear the rest of the conversation with Kevin Robertson, listen below:


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