Diesel- South Africa has taken the step of implementing diesel rationing, as there is an unexpected rise in demand for the fuel.
More than half of the country’s refining capacity has been shut down in line with lockdown regulations. When lockdown was instated on march 26, there was restricted activity on essential services. As the rules have begun relaxing, more industries that need diesel will begin operations.
“The South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) can confirm that there is currently a shortage of diesel in the country. Since the easing of lockdown restrictions and the transition from Alert Level 5 to Alert Level, the opening of the economy has resulted in a more rapid recovery than expected to continue to the end of May.”
Diesel shortages might continue until mid-June, and it is likely to hit Kwazulu-Natal and the interior of the country most.
Stockpiles of diesel are running low, the department of Mineral Resources and Energy said in a reply to questions. “Unplanned equipment shutdowns were also a factor in the shortage,” said Sapia
The good news is that petrol is not affected. A spokesperson for Sapia said the demand for petrol had declined by 60% during lockdown, which meant that producers had sufficient supply. In addition, the organisation said that the demand for the petrol since the opening of the economy has not increased as dramatically as it has for diesel.