Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) has applied for exemptions to competition rules to “prevent and mitigate supply emergencies”. according to a government notice.

The exemptions to the Competition Act would allow joint planning around the scheduled shutdown of refineries and co-ordinate reactions to unplanned outages by members including Total, Royal Dutch Shell and Sasol, that own refineries in SA, Sapia said in a Government Gazette notice published on December 21.

More than 40% of SA’s crude-oil refining capacity has been shut in 2020 by accidents, including one at a Glencore unit’s refinery in Cape Town and Petroliam Nasional’s Engen refinery in Durban.

Sapia has applied specifically for exemptions from “certain provisions” in chapter 2 of the Competition Act, the notice said. It also requests that collective interactions between the industry and government be allowed. The lobby group didn’t immediately return e-mails seeking comment, while the Competition Commission said it would reply later.

“This exemption does not extend to the wholesale, commercial and retail trade of liquid fuels by Sapia members,” it said. It also doesn’t extend to members discussing prices, markets, tenders or competitive strategies.


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