The shadow energy minister has issued yet another stark warning about the severity of the fuel and diesel shortage currently affecting South Africa. The country's reserves have been depleted without being replaced, and despite assurances from the government, it seems Gauteng will be cutting things fine for the next few days.
Diesel shortage in South Africa – who will be worst affected?
We've been told that numerous wholesalers in both Gauteng – and the inland regions of South Africa – are likely to suffer from the shortage. According to the DA's Kevin Mileham, here's who is in for a rough ride:
Gauteng is amongst the worst hit, with numerous wholesalers and retailers reportedly "dry".
- This situation has been exacerbated by the theft of parts of the multi-product pipeline from Durban to Gauteng.[*]It's estimated that it will still take "at least a week" for diesel to reach inland markets, leaving some wholesalers in places like Free State and North West on the brink.
Where is Gwede Mantashe? Gauteng on high alert
However, the panic doesn't seem to have reached government. Mileham says, once again, his opposite number in government Gwede Mantashe is staying silent. Critics are now pleading with the minister to give the country an update for the first time this month, as the next seven days could see diesel shortages hamper commuters, businesses and millions of South Africans.
"South Africa's economy – and particularly our mining, agriculture and transport sectors – is being hamstrung by Government ineptitude. The situation with regard to diesel is worsening, despite industry and Government protestations to the contrary and in spite of promises that normal supply would be restored by June"
"Mantashe and the heads of South Africa's refineries must update the country on what the true status is, and when we can really expect to have normal stock levels again. Neither the Minister, nor the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Energy, Sahlulele Luzipo MP, have responded to our request for an urgent briefing."Kevin Mileham