Airport fuel crisis prompts reaction

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pretoria - Energy Minister Dupio Peters is to meet with other role-players in the fuel industry on Thursday to discuss the shortage of jet fuel at the OR Tambo international Airport. 

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the minister will be joined by representatives from Transnet Pipelines, South African Petroleum Industry Association, the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) and various oil companies. 

The meeting comes amid reports that the airport had been hit by fuel shortages which prompted authorities to ask airlines operating at the airport to cut back on their fuel intake until the stock levels were improved.

ACSA spokesperson Solomon Makgale said on Tuesday the shortage was a result of interruptions in the supply network in South Africa.

He labeled media reports that claimed the airport may run out of fuel in two days as "untrue." 

Airlines have been asked to reduce their intake by 30 percent, he said.

He told BuaNews that there was no need to panic but a subsequent statement from the organisation indicated that should the situation not improve, rationing of fuel intake could be made compulsory.

ACSA further advised passengers not to panic or change their travel plans in the wake of feared low fuel levels at the OR Tambo International Airport.