New ban on buying fuel in portable containers is only temporary, says FRA CEO
- It’s now illegal for South Africans to buy petrol and diesel in a container
- The CEO of the Fuel Retailers Association (FRA) has defended the government's decision to ban container sales
- Reggie Sibiya says the regulations are temporary and in the interest of public safety following several days of riots
Reggie Sibiya, the CEO of the Fuel Retailers Association (FRA), has defended the government's decision to ban the sale of petroleum products in portable containers.
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy issued the regulations prohibiting the retail sale of petrol and diesel in portable containers on Thursday.
The department has urged members of the public not to panic buy or hoard fuel as this would exacerbate current challenges in areas affected by looting and unrest.
In addition to thwarting hoarders, Sibiya says that the regulations are in place to stop the sale of fuel to would-be petrol-bombers.
There are some concerns that the regulations will negatively impact businesses that purchase fuel in portable containers, such as the gardening sector.
Sibiya says the regulations are a temporary measure and will most likely be repealed when the situation has stabilised.
In the letter of the law I don't think there is any exemption.Reggie Sibiya, CEO - Fuel Retailers Association
We must just be mindful... It clearly states that the minister created this as a temporary measure to try and mitigate against the unrest... if it ends quickly, I'm definitely sure that the minister will repeal the regulations.Reggie Sibiya, CEO - Fuel Retailers Association
The CEO says the fuel panic-buying was partly caused by misinformation shared on social media about fuel shortages.
Sibiya says there are sufficient fuel reserves in South Africa, despite the temporary closure of the Sapref oil refinery in Durban.
He says fuel stocks are stable in the country, however, the challenge is securing the movement of fuel to areas that have been declared hotspots.
I can confirm that there are stable supply reserves to supply the country.Reggie Sibiya, CEO - Fuel Retailers Association
In the areas where there has been unrest, the unrest is calming down.. and we will be seeing the movement coming in because it is in the interest of the oil companies to get the retailers going again as soon as possible.Reggie Sibiya, CEO - Fuel Retailers Association
The issue of stock availability of reserves is not an issue... the issue is the accessibility of areas that have been designated as hotspots areas for safety reasons.... as a result, those areas end up running dry.Reggie Sibiya, CEO - Fuel Retailers Association