Petrol pumps have begun to run dry at some garages around the country on the second day of a wage strike‚ while queues are building at those that still have fuel.
The strike affects refinery workers‚ fuel truck drivers and depot workers. Petrol station attendants have a separate bargaining council.
“The #PetrolStrike is real‚ Failed to get EPL93 at Total garage in N12 between Springs and Witbank‚” Moses ?@mhozisi tweeted on Friday morning.
Carla Coetzee ?@CarlaCoet reported‚ “Queuing for over 40min for petrol. Praying they will not tell me it’s finished when I get to the front. #PetrolStrike”.
I Love Durban ?@ILuvDBN issued a callout to motorists‚ saying “Fill up your Fuel. #Durban garages are empty and those that have fuel are packed!! #PetrolStrike”.
Karin Human ?@karin–human was thinking of how it would affect her job: “#PetrolStrike will that be a valid reason to stay home from work when it runs out? #toofartowalk #tankonlylasts600km #strikementalitySA”.
An estimated 15‚000 workers in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors belonging to the Chemical‚ Energy‚ Paper‚ Printing‚ Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) began to strike on Thursday for a 9% wage increase. Employers are offering 7% in the first year and inflation plus 1.5% in the second year.
Ceppwawu’s other demands include: A 40-hour week; paid maternity leave and shift allowances.
Ceppwawu Eastern Cape regional chairman Sam Xaba told the Daily Dispatch their members had downed tools at Engen’s depot in the West Bank industrial area.
“The impact is that there is no petrol deliveries to the garages‚” he said.
Operations at South Africa’s largest refinery are continuing‚ however. The Sapref refinery in Durban‚ a joint venture between Shell and BP‚ refines 190‚000 barrels of crude oil a day.
“The plant has not stopped production and we have measures in place to ensure continued safe operation during the national CEPPWAWU strike‚” spokeswoman Cindy Govender said‚ according to a report by Reuters.
An 18-day strike in 2011 led to petrol stations across the country running dry‚ affecting motorists as well as businesses.