Shell declares force majeure on Jhb fuel

2012-10-05 09:42

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 ore miners.

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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  • gaius.longinus.9 - 2012-10-05 09:50

    And still our beloved and competent government and it's union buddies don't see what they are doing to this country. Just get it over with, kill the country so that new and competent people can govern and work in SA.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-05 14:54

      I was hoping force majeure meant riding shotgun and blasting these destructive idiots off the road so life can go on as normal and deliveries can be made. Oh well, wrong again.

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-10-05 19:36

      And where do you think these 'new and competent' people will be found gaius? From what I can see , most of them have already pulled the pin on the country and are to be found in other countries.

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-10-06 16:19

      Imagine these strikers lighting up a filled up fuel delivery truck...

  • msard - 2012-10-05 09:51

    And just how would that benefit the Customer??

      mike.lindsay.7927 - 2012-10-05 12:15

      Flash, this means for example that if a Shell station cannot get deliveries of petrol from Shell, the station owner is able to break his purchase contract with Shell and buy petrol from another supplier, (assuming that they would be willing to supply him) for the duration of the force majeure, and until Shell is able to begin resupplying the station once again. To answer your question - the station owner is able to continuing trading, albeit with non-Shell fuel, and the motorists are not inconvenienced in having to find petrol elsewhere.

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-10-05 19:38

      It doesn't. It covers Shell against litigation for breach of contract...or at least , they think it will.

  • clayton.kleynhans - 2012-10-05 09:53

    Not to worry we dont fill up with Fracking Shell!!!

      derekneilmaclachlan - 2012-10-05 17:55

      Yes neither do I ...I live in the Karoo and will never buy another shell product ever again!!!!

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-10-05 19:39

      You have got that one 100% right alicia. A huge mess.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-10-05 09:54

    This crisis is proudly sponsored by the ANC (Another National Crisis)

  • John - 2012-10-05 09:57

    Canada anyone? ( Australia is sooo yesterday...)

      greg.quinn.353 - 2012-10-05 10:10

      At least they have petrol!

      lownabester - 2012-10-05 10:14

      Lets go to sunny Spain:))

      jowza1 - 2012-10-05 11:22

      the spanish are striking as well

      thando.gqabaza - 2012-10-05 11:50

      Spanish unemployment is higher than in SA. 1 in 2 Spanish men under 25 are unemployed ( Source : Economist ). So think again.

      allhaleto.theale - 2012-10-05 13:14

      You make a good point Thando. And yet Spain doesn't have our levels of violent crime. It would be interesting to know why as often in our case it is attributed to unemployment.

      DrGonzoSA - 2012-10-05 15:51

      They pay unemployed people. Which is why they (and Greece) are in this mess in the first place

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-10-05 19:40

      Do you have a choice ...5centsworth? Most folk that do have a choice have already left.

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-05 10:01

    This sounds like manure to me, please no more difficult names on a Friday.

  • harald.voney - 2012-10-05 10:03

    frack shell...

      fussed.anderson - 2012-10-05 11:56

      Hell, this Frank guy is all over. He should run for presedent

  • sthembiso.jali.58 - 2012-10-05 10:12

    Once the bottle stores runs out of beers, then the these people will see what im made of.

      john.turner.58760608 - 2012-10-05 10:25

      I'm with you on that. The strikers, themselves, will probably go back to work when the bottle stores run out of beer

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-10-05 11:29

      Fastest strike settlements were: Mercedes Benz and SA Breweries

      fussed.anderson - 2012-10-05 11:57

      What about kfc

  • victoria.kennedy.3532 - 2012-10-05 10:19

    I just wish that the strikers would wise up and realise the long-term implications of their actions! The miners strikes have already caused the rand to weaken. Weaker rand = more expensive to import. Which becomes the tax payers problem.

      rob.bancroft.94 - 2012-10-05 11:30

      Sure, Vicky, go to the strikers and tell them to stop because of the deeper implications of their behaviour. You may as well tell that to the burnt out trucks they set alight. All they care about is what is in their back pocket and nothing more. Guess it really boils down to a lack of education. Suppose that is the result of having a 1st world economy in a 3rd world country.

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-10-05 19:42

      I think that 20 years ago we should have realised the implications of low productivity , poor education and slave wages. We are now reaping the benefits ...the Toothpaste is out of the tube ...all we need now is for Nelson to pass on and all hell may break loose.

      piet.snot.77964 - 2012-10-05 19:51

      Would love to work out what the strikers have lost already and just how long it will take them to get back to where they were - during a strike in the company I worked for I worked out that it would take the average driver 2 1/2 years to get back where they were after 7 weeks on strike. They lost their housing allowances, bonus, lots of overtime - the strike really hurt them. Maybe someone could do some calculations and let us know.

  • zaaristotle - 2012-10-05 10:35

    That's nice - giving up so easily. This is a company that has vocally and actively campaigned for fracking in the Karoo - it will be one of the major players. This then is an indication of how easily they will give up if things go wrong in the Karoo.

      piet.snot.77964 - 2012-10-05 19:44

      Next thing will be when (note I say WHEN and not if ) things go wrong in the Karoo they will also call "Force Majeure" and run leaving us with the mess. They will be dealing with something God made for us all and maybe God will not be happy with what is going on in his land.

  • ed.jacobs.50 - 2012-10-05 10:46

    Going well without fracking SHELL

  • juan.botes.75 - 2012-10-05 11:23

    Thanx to the govermant aspecialy to the ANC that messed up our country

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-05 15:14

    Force Majeure is the legal term for "AN ACT OF GOD". I dont see how He can be blamed.

  • piet.snot.77964 - 2012-10-05 19:39

    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. Sorry Shell by strikes in the petrol industry are VERY forseeable - way back in 1996/7 you were also in the same pickel - the other companies had emergency drivers but you did not. Will wait and see how your customers take you to the cleaners.

  • gerhardus.windpomp - 2012-10-05 21:15

    So when do the complaining posters stand together and stop paying tax? Oh, I forgot. Too busy standing in the cue to buy petrol.

  • freddy.vanwijk - 2012-10-05 22:28

    I like the french declaration term "Force Majeure" The strikers must now know they do not have any constitutional right when that term is implemented.

  • freddy.vanwijk - 2012-10-05 23:18

    One thing: If strikers still act against that "french term" that means they have no respect for the almighty.

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