Intimidation hampers fuel deliveries

2011-02-16 14:39

Johannesburg - Increasing intimidation of non-striking truck drivers was slowing down the transportation of fuel, the SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) said on Wednesday.

"We are basically concerned over the high levels of intimidation and violence... the big challenge is that this undermines our response and the contingency plans in place," said executive director Avhapfani Tshifularo.

The road freight strike entered its third day on Wednesday with reports of intimidation and violence, mainly on the East Rand, continuing.

The majority of the trucks belonging to the Road Freight Employers' Association (RFEA), said Tshifularo, were not available. Those left to transport fuel belonged to the oil companies or those not participating in the strike.

Tshifularo said intimidation of the non-striking workers hampered use of trucks not belonging to the RFEA.

Commenting on reports that petrol pumps in Johannesburg had run low, he said it was difficult to track fuel levels on the ground.

"It's a dynamic situation, changing all the time. A station that did not have fuel at midday may receive delivery at 13:00, so it's very difficult to say which stations have run dry," he said.

The Association would continue to monitor the industrial action and its impact on the industry.

Four unions involved in the strike - the Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA, the Professional Transport Workers Union, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union, and the Motor Transport Workers Union - are demanding a 20% increase allocated over a two-year period.

The RFEA was offering an increase of 7.5% across the board for 2011 and a further 7.5% increase for 2012.

Talks between the union and the employers were continuing on Wednesday.