Government To Introduce ‘Dirty Fuel’

Naamsa (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa) has voiced their concern over the Department of Energy’s plans to introduce “scary” new South African fuel standards.

These concerns were outlined in a letter to the Department of Energy (DoE). And, are in response to draft regulations proposed by the DoE, to re-introduce additive metals to unleaded fuel in South Africa.

Naamsa comments that energy minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson  is “placing South Africans’ lives at risk” by not meeting global standards for clean fuel. They also go on to say that Joemat-Pettersson’s proposal will sabotage the competitiveness of the country’s car manufacturing industry. Not to mention doing everyday motorists a disservice.

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What Happens If The Fuel Proposal Is Passed?

Should the proposals pass, South Africa will no longer be able to conform to European standards. This will be due to the pollutants and high manganese content in the fuel.

“This, in turn, will have wide-ranging effects on both South Africa’s motor manufacturing industry and everyday motorists,” Naamsa said.


The Effect On SA Motorists

Should the government reintroduce prohibited metal additives to unleaded fuel, this will have an effect on the type of vehicles South Africa will be able to import. This would also mean South Africa would be reclassified as a “dirty fuels” country.

Chairperson of Naamsa, Stuart Rayner said this would also extend to other motoring technologies available to South Africa. Causing the country to lag behind as it continues to fall behind international standards.

“Every day motorists will also be affected. This is because the additive metals will cause issues with catalytic converters in most modern South African vehicles.”

For manufacturers, this would also mean that two types of cars would have to be produced in the country. One that can be used locally with the altered fuel, and one that meets international standards that can be exported.

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Government’s Response?

DoE deputy director general of planning and policy‚ Ompi Aphane‚ said government was ‘keeping an open mind’ about the fuel regulation proposals.

“We will take into consideration the inputs and interests of the oil sector‚ the car manufacturing sector‚ the manganese sector‚ and health and environment issues. As well as the added cost to the consumer if we implement European fuel standards‚” Aphane said.

Aphane added that “significant capital investment in refineries would be financed by a higher consumer fuel price”.

“In the end‚ we will make the decision that is best for the country. Obviously taking into account the impact on the export market.”

The programme is scheduled for introduction in July 2017, something which Rayner does not believe will happen on time. He explains that government has not reached an agreement with local refineries. This regarding the financing of the necessary investment to bring about this programme.


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