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July 29th, 2016 by


Yesterday saw 15 000 petroleum refinery, depot and transportation workers down tools to demand a two per cent higher wage increase than the seven per cent offer. This will most likely result in petrol tanks running dry by the weekend.

Motorists are advised to brace themselves for this upcoming petrol shortage by filling up and reducing petrol consumption by the Automobile Association.

According to IOL, Clement Chitja, head of collective bargaining at the Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu), said refinery and depot workers would strike after wage talks with the National Petroleum Employers’ Association broke down.

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Petrol Strike Infographic SML-01

The association’s deputy chairman, Zimisele Majamane, confirmed they had received notice of the strike.

“Due to a number of unresolved demands tabled by the union on behalf of workers at the bargaining council, workers will down tools and picket or demonstrate outside their workplaces in terms of strike rules,” said Chitja.

Chitja added that all petroleum suppliers will be affected and unfortunately so will motorists. We want them to know that this is not of our own doing, but we believe a strong message has to be sent to employers.

“It is not true that they can cry broke; what they are doing is withholding money and by so doing, they are stagnating the economy,” he elaborated.

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SASOL Says Contingency Plans are in Place for the Petrol Shortage

The strike is expected to impact the petroleum operating businesses within Sasol namely, Sasol Synfuels, Natref and Sasol Energy.

Sasol spokesperson Alex Anderson said Sasol has put contingency plans in place to ensure the minimum disruption customers, as well as to ensure the safety of employees and contractors.

He said the company will continue to proactively monitor the situation.

“Operations continue as normal and there is no impact on production,” he said.

However, the AA has offered the following advice in preparation of the strike and subsequent fuel shortage in addition to appealing to motorists to fill up quickly:

“Driving with an air-conditioner on, speeding, and driving in peak hour traffic will consume fuel quicker. We therefore advise motorists to adjust their driving patterns as far as possible to ensure that the fuel in their tanks lasts that bit longer”.

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