Government asks public to be patient for access to basic resources after looting

Johannesburg – As the country tries to mend itself after the riots that affected mostly Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal, citizens have been asked to be patient as contingency plans are put in place to access basic resources.

Food and Fuel:

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy issued a statement saying that although the South African Petroleum Refiners (SAPREF) shut down operations on Tuesday, they are assuring the nation that there is sufficient petroleum products and they are working to secure the movement of all petroleum products.

SAPREF runs a massive refinery complex in Durban supplying 35% of South Africa’s refined fuel, declared force majeure this week

“Furthermore, Sapia (South African Petroleum Industry Association) is monitoring the status of fuel supply and will advise us on steps to take,” read the statement from DMRE.
They also urged South Africans to refrain from panic buying as this would exacerbate current challenges.

The department also issued regulations on Thursday which prohibits the sale and dispensing of petrol and diesel into containers. But ordinary South Africans questioned how they will then run generators if load shedding should kick in or if their cars ran out petrol.

The response from the department said these concerns were noted and that it would be clarified shortly.

Meanwhile the Automobile Association (AA) urged motorists to limit non-essential travel and to continue working remotely.

“Fuel prices were already trending higher before the widespread looting and unrest of the past few days. But now, the daily rand/US dollar exchange rate has spiked from R14.35 to nearly R14.80 since 12 June. South Africa imports a lot of fuel, which will inevitably cost more in rand terms. Meanwhile, international oil prices remain on the advance, adding further pressure,” said the AA.

The Food sector was also hit hard with many complaining they couldn’t find bread. Bread was selling for a whopping R50 in some areas.Various news reports said RCL were unable to produce Sunbake bread in Gauteng because it couldn’t get wheat and yeast to its factories.

Werna Oberholzer corporate communications director for Tiger Brands said Albany Bakery operations and the distribution of bread in KwaZulu-Natal remain disrupted due to the impact of the civil unrest in the province.

“We continue to assess the situation and will endeavour to make bread deliveries to customers where we are able to gain safe access to the market.”

She said In Gauteng bread deliveries continue in areas where stores have resumed operations.

“The high demand driven by panic buying in some areas continues to affect our ability to keep shelves fully stocked. The company welcomes the news of the N3 toll route being fully reopened,” said Oberholzer.

The Shoprite Group said on Thursday that as the authorities restore stability they are working around the clock to repair and restock looted and damaged stores.

Noordgesig residents were concerned that their looted branch will be closed forever. But the group said this store, like many others will re-open in time.

“These stores are becoming operational and are re-opening for business by the hour while the safety of both customers and employees remains paramount. Supply lines to the majority of stores are currently running smoothly and deliveries to stores in KZN has commenced,” said the supermarket group.

It also assured customers that the bulk of its supermarkets Shoprite, Checkers, Usave and franchise OK Foods around the country are stocked and operational and that there is no need for stockpiling food supplies and health products.

“We appeal to all South Africans to remain calm as our supply chain is now able to supply into most stores again.”

Also read: Cry, the beloved black economy

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