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Several petrol stations in Gauteng run dry amid strike

Several petrol stations in Gauteng have run dry after 15,000 Ceppwawu members began a strike last week.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) says the intimidation of non-striking workers at petrol depots in Pretoria is affecting fuel deliveries in parts of Gauteng.

Several petrol stations in the province have run dry after 15,000 members of Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) began a strike last Thursday demanding a nine percent wage hike and improved job security.

The employers' association is offering seven percent.

The association's Fani Tshifularo says Gauteng fuel supplies have been worst affected by the strike.

"Nationally, the situation is fairly fine considering that we are operating under strike action. We have incidents that have been reported particularly intimidation in Pretoria."

Meanwhile, the National Petroleum Employers' Association (NPEA) last week said it believed its wage offer was reasonable and fair and called on Ceppwawu to call off its strike.

The association's Zimisele Majamane said, "We had four meetings with the union and unfortunately we couldn't see eye-to-eye on too many aspects, one being the percent wage increase and the second one being the duration of the wage agreement."

At the same time, the Automobile Association has urged motorists to fill their tanks during the strike.

LISTEN: Petrol not available in northern Gauteng garages

IEC VEHICLES WON'T BE AFFECTED

While there are concerns the strike in the petroleum sector could affect the delivery of ballot papers and lead to delays in voting stations opening, the IEC says its fleet of vehicles has been filled up to guarantee a smooth election period.

Sapia says Gauteng is the worst affected province by the strike, adding that its critical for motorists to only refuel when necessary.

Tshifularo added, "In Pretoria, where we've got a lot of our fuel facilities in the industry, it's where it is getting difficult and affecting all the areas that are supplied from that point."

Meanwhile, the IEC is confident it will have a seamless process delivering and collecting ballot papers despite the industrial action.

Gauteng electoral officer Masego Shiburi said, "We would advise all our teams to make sure the vehicles are full to avoid instances where there are petrol shortages."

Additional reporting by Ziyanda Ngcobo

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