Calm motorists can help prevent crisis
While contingency plans have been made to mitigate any disruptions to fuel supply during the planned shutdown of the tanker berth at the Port Elizabeth harbour, things don’t always go according to plan and some delays in delivery are possible.
However, oil companies are appealing to motorists in Nelson Mandela Bay to keep their heads and not panic.
Increased tanker traffic on the road between Port Elizabeth and East London, which will be the regional distribution point while repairs are carried out on the tanker berth, and loading bottlenecks are potential issues that could affect deliveries.
But the oil companies and petrol station owners, in general, say it will be business as usual and have cautioned against a run on fuel.
It is exactly that – the rush to fill up when faced with even the remotest possibility of supply problems – that can cause the pumps to run dry.
This sometimes occurs when fuel prices go up and there is a mad rush the day before by motorists to fill up at the old price.
So, with a fuel price increase possibly on the cards in March and fuel having to be tanked in from East London, an appeal has been made to motorists to stay calm and carry on as usual.
The norm for most petrol stations is to hold a continuous three-day supply, according to one owner, and most are confident that they will not run out of fuel while the repairs are being carried out at the harbour.
However, some did concede that there might be slight delays in delivery.
If everyone fills up as and when needed, instead of overreacting, the fuel supply should be largely uninterrupted during the five-week shutdown.
A slight hold-up here and there due to the increased tanker traffic on the road should have no real impact on supply, so let’s all keep our heads.