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Industry body condemns fuel adulteration

Fuel pumps being held by a mans hand

FILL 'ER UP The illegal adulteration of diesel fuel by adding paraffin seams to be on the incline

15th March 2024

     

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Industry body the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) has affirmed in a statement released in January that it condemns the adulteration of diesel with illuminating paraffin.

It added that Sapia members have zero-tolerance policies towards fuel adulteration to ensure that quality fuel is delivered to its clients.

“As Sapia, we want to assure the public that our members pride themselves on the quality of their products over quantity, and pushing volumes and profits,” says Sapia executive director Avhapfani Tshifularo.

He adds that Sapia members are committed to dealing harshly with any of their franchisees caught selling adulterated diesel.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) recent findings – where it identified 70 out of 1 000 failed diesel samples across South Africa – largely confirm the scale of the problem from previous findings on the adulteration of diesel.

Further, it suggests that the problem is growing – and based on previous information – is mainly confined to the so-called ‘white sites’ that no longer carry a company’s brand owing to non-compliance with company policies.

“Our biggest concern is that the unassuming consumer will be tempted towards buying this fuel because of the low price,” says Tshifularo.

Additionally, fuel prices must be advertised at retail sites by law and retailers offering fuel at ridiculously low prices compared to their competitors suggests caution needs to be applied.

“As much as the cost of fuel is too high, do not [fall] into temptation,” he cautions.

He stresses the purchase of diesel adulterated with paraffin can have serious consequences for vehicles by causing engine damage and in extreme cases, the ‘write-off’ of the vehicle.

Further, it is also a form of tax evasion, which is illegal.

Sapia is committed to working closely with the DMRE and other stakeholders to put an end to the practice of illegally mixing diesel with illuminating paraffin.

“Our mandate is to ensure that the fuel sold in South Africa is of the highest quality and meets the required standards,” he says.

Tshifularo concludes that Sapia urges members of the public who wish to report any suspicions of adulterated diesel and compliance issues, to contact any of its accredited members; Astron Energy, BP Southern Africa, Elegant Fuel, Engen Petroleum, Gulfstream Energy, Puma Energy, Royale Energy, Sasol Oil, Shell South Africa and TotalEnergies Marketing SA.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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