Lockdown, theft and damage to a Transnet pipeline had been cited as reasons for South Africa’s’ inland diesel shortage. So far, Transnet fuel transport lines had been damaged more than 20 times as perpetrators tried to steal fuel meant for Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
Gavin Kelly of the Road Freight Association had urged the public not to buy fuel in bulk at this time as it would aggravate the situation. this comes after a national shortage of diesel had been n the cards for weeks and the fuel had to be rationed.
National lockdown also played a part in the situation with all the refineries in SA shut down. According to the SA Petroleum Association, all systems are fully operational once again. However, due to an independent poll during lockdown, the continued use of fuel by farmers during this time, depleted certain depots which had not properly planned ahead. SA Grain’s Corné Louw said the organisation supported the rationing of fuel so that there would be enough to go around and for harvesting to continue.
Despite the fact that the Transnet pipeline had been repaired, it could lead to a delay of diesel inland delivery, but according to various sources, it is not a national and large-scale problem and the public in Mpumalanga and Gauteng should not embark on panic buying.
A poll by AMT, a South African company that specialises in market analysis and forecasts in the agricultural industry, shows that 39% of farmers who participated in the poll are experiencing fuel shortages.
A maize farmer from North West said he was worried that the current fuel shortage could have a negative effect on his operations. “I am harvesting and I only have enough diesel left for a week. I tried ordering this week but not a single one of the suppliers has any stock,” he said.
Requier Wait of Agri SA confirmed that consumers in the interior of the country were experiencing shortages, but did not anticipate any long-term problems for farmers.