Johannesburg - Shell has declared force majeure on fuel deliveries in Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria, due to a two-week strike by more than 20 000 truck drivers, the company said on Friday.
“There is fuel available across the country so the issue is not fuel supply but the challenge is delivering it safely to our retail sites,” the company said in an emailed response to questions.
Force majeure means that due to unforeseeable circumstances, a company may not be able to fulfil its obligations, so Shell is covering itself should delivery of fuel not occur.
The measure allows the company and its customers to break
contracts due to situations beyond their control and its invocation is a sign of
the truckers’ strike starting to bite the economy, which is
already under strain from a wave of wildcat walkouts by platinum, gold and iron
Near the “platinum belt” city of Rustenburg, 120km northwest of Johannesburg, hundreds of protesters barricaded streets with rocks
and burning tyres on Friday close to a mine belonging to top producer Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats).
The unscheduled strikes also spread to the manufacturing sector for
the first time this week, with workers at Toyota’s Durban car plant downing
tools on Monday to demand higher pay. The strike was resolved on Thursday, with
unions saying workers had received a 5.4% pay hike.
“As far as I know the guys have been pitching up for work and
production has restarted,” Toyota SA spokesperson Leo Kok said.
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