[WATCH] Should petrol attendants have to pay up when drivers speed off?
- Who foots the bill when motorists drive off without paying for their fuel?
- A number of videos have been circulating on social media showing criminals dashing off after filling up
- Fuel retailer and SAPRA chair Henry van der Merwe says he doesn't believe petrol attendants should carry the cost of the unpaid petrol
As the fuel price continues to climb, more thieves are driving off from filling stations without paying.
Henry van der Merwe, the national chair of the South African Petroleum Retailers Association (SAPRA), says there's a correlation between fuel price increases and the frequency of petrol station drive-offs.
"The higher the petrol price, the more frequent we see it", Van der Merwe tells CapeTalk.
Some filling stations are now asking customers to hand over their keys or pay upfront before filling up, but who foots the bill when thieves drive away?
Van der Merwe, who owns a filling station in Gauteng, says each establishment adopts its own policy.
He doesn't believe that petrol attendants should have to fork out the money when these incidents occur.
I think it depends on the site, my personal opinion is that it's not his fault... I'm the owner, it's my loss.Henry van der Merwe, National Chairperson - South African Petroleum Retailers Association
I can't deduct that from a petrol attendant because he was not negligent. It's definitely not his fault.Henry van der Merwe, National Chairperson - South African Petroleum Retailers Association
A number of videos have been circulating on social media showing criminals dashing off after filling up.
I Yes the Petrol Attandent!!!!! pic.twitter.com/MPfbYqrRxV— Dovongwa (@NyikoooP) April 4, 2022
Is the new crime pic.twitter.com/b48Wf4eJiA— Moses Mazibuko (@MosesMazibuko3) April 5, 2022
Van der Merwe says he conducted a snap survey on Thursday among SAPRA members.
Out of 143 members who responded, he says 65% of them had been victims of petrol drive-offs at least three times in the last three months.
According to van der Merwe, only 10% ask for car keys before filling up vehicles. "It's uncomfortable for the customers if you ask for the key", he says.
SAPRA says petrol attendants are being trained to deal with the growing trend.
It is a major concern... even on a bakkie [a full tak] is becoming R1,400 or R1,500.Henry van der Merwe, National Chairperson - South African Petroleum Retailers Association
We are training our guys differently... some sites have microphones on the attendants but its a coslty excercise... we're protecting ourselves, we've got the CCTV footage.Henry van der Merwe, National Chairperson - South African Petroleum Retailers Association
My policy is if there is no number plates on, they are not allowed to fill up.Henry van der Merwe, National Chairperson - South African Petroleum Retailers Association
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