Transnet loses major battle with Sasol – forced to pay billions

 ·20 Jun 2024

Transnet will have to pay Sasol over R6 billion after losing a key court battle.

Transnet, through its business unit Transnet Pipelines, transports crude oil for both Sasol Oil and TotalEnergies from Durban to the Natref crude oil refinery located in Sasolburg, Free State.

Sasol and TotalEnergies hold 63.64% and 36.36%, respectively, of the shares in Natref.

In 2017, Sasol Oil joined TotalEnergies in starting legal action against Transnet for damages caused by Transnet’s breach of its obligation to set pipeline tariffs for the transportation of crude oil in terms of an agreement that the parties had entered into in 1991.

This resulted in Transnet overcharging Sasol Oil for the transport of crude oil over a number of years.

“The litigation between the parties has been ongoing for years, and a number of issues in the matter have been determined by the High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court, respectively,” said Sasol.

Following litigation proceedings at the High Court from 15 April to 3 May 2024, the High Court handed down judgement in favour of Sasol Oil and TotalEnergies.

Damages amounting to R3.9 billion and interest amounting to roughly R2.3 billion were awarded to Sasol Oil.

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