Motorists can pay for fuel by credit card

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pretoria - Motorists will from Friday onwards conveniently be able to pay for petrol after filling up with their credit cards.

Previously it was not allowed in South Africa because of the high costs involved, however, in May, the Department of Energy said that new regulations would be introduced to make it easier for visitors during the 2010 World Cup to pay for fuel. Many countries overseas allow for the payment of fuel by credit card.

The department also felt it would be safer for customers and employees to reduce cash payments.

Departmental spokesperson Bheki Khumalo explained that debit, credit, cheque, garage, fleet or petrol cards could now be used to effect payment, whether issued by a three or four party scheme.

This came into effect on Friday when Energy Minister Dipuo Peters published regulations regarding the use of cards at petrol stations under Section 2 of the Petroleum Products Act, 1977.

"These regulations prescribe the method of payment for the purchase of petroleum products at a retail site right across our country. The retailers are expected to do the following: accept payment in the form of cash; accept payment in the form of a payment card," said Ms Peters.

Minister Peters urged garage owners who are unable to accommodate the use of credit cards to prominently display a notice to that effect.

Not all garages will immediately be able to accept every form of payment because of logistical issues.

A Sasol filling station owner in Pretoria, who did not want to be named, said that his garage currently only accommodated debit card payments.

He said that if implementing both debit and credit card payments affected the profit of the garage, he would not implement the system. "If it cuts into our profit margin we will not do it," he said.