Energy Department petrol and diesel ban into containers

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Government bans the dispensing of petrol and diesel into containers

The government banned the sale of fuel in portable containers on Thursday. The Department of Energy discouraged South Africans from panic buying and hoarding and added that “there are sufficient products” in the country despite the current challenges.

Energy Department petrol and diesel ban into containers

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy banned the sale of petrol and diesel to members of the public using portable containers on Thursday, 15 May. This comes after the ongoing violence and protests in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal led to the temporary closure of one of South Africa’s largest refineries and widespread panic buying of fuel.


According to the Department, the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) said the disruptions in KZN and the subsequent closure of the South African Petroleum Refineries (SAPREF) in Durban – which produces 35% of the country’s fuel supply – would have a ripple effect across the national supply of petroleum products.

The Department said “there are sufficient products” despite the challenges related to the movement of petroleum products to some parts of the country and the government is working on securing the movement of all petroleum products.

“Thus, South Africans are discouraged from panic buying and hoarding, as this action will exacerbate the current challenges,” said the department.

Gwede Mantashe’s ministry issued the “Regulations Prohibiting The Sale and Dispensing Of Petrol And Diesel Into Containers” on Thursday – in the interest of public safety associated with the ongoing unrest.

There are concerns that the ban on selling fuel in portable containers will have a negative impact on consumers who buy fuel for non-transportation use, including generators and gardening equipment.

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Energy Shadow Minister, Kevin Mileham, said while the party understands the government’s motivation for the ban it will have a profound impact on residents who use generators, power tools and the agricultural sector.

Reggie Sibiya, the CEO of the Fuel Retailers Association (FRA), pledged his support for the department’s decision. He told CapeTalk that the ban would thwart hoarders and petrol bombers alike.

While they may not be any exemptions for the sale of fuel for non-vehicle use, Sibiya believes if the measures will be temporary and will be repealed when calm is restored.

“We must just be mindful,” said Sibiya. “It clearly states that the minister created this as a temporary measure to try and mitigate against the unrest… if it ends quickly, I’m definitely sure that the minister will repeal the regulations.”