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Proposed South African fuel changes are seriously bad news for motorists and car manufacturers

Proposed South African fuel changes are seriously bad news for motorists and car manufacturers

In a letter addressed to the Department of Energy, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has voiced its concern about the introduction of “scary” new South African fuel standards.

The letter is in response to draft regulations proposed by the DoE, which will effectively re-introduce additive metals to unleaded fuel in South Africa.

In the letter, Naamsa accuses energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson of “placing South Africans’ lives at risk” by not meeting global standards for clean fuel, sabotaging the competitiveness of the country’s car manufacturing industry, as well as doing a disservice to everyday motorists.

Should the proposals pass, the high manganese content and other pollutants in South African fuel means the country would no longer be able to conform to European standards.

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

The effect on South Africa

BusinessTech spoke to Naamsa’s Stuart Rayner as to what effects these regulations would actually have on the country’s motorists.

“Firstly, we are very concerned about the delay of the clean fuels program in South Africa which was originally to be introduced in 2017,” said Rayner.

According to Naamsa, South Africa will be lucky if it sees the bill by 2022.

“Of more immediate concern is the fact that the Department of Energy is considering the re-introduction of metal additives currently prohibited in South Africa’s unleaded fuel.”

“This will have an effect on the type of vehicles South Africa will be able to import, as South Africa would be reclassified as a ‘dirty fuels’ country”.

Rayner noted that this would 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, as 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.

Response by Government

Responding to Naamsa’s outrage on the matter, the energy department’s deputy director general of planning and policy‚ Ompi Aphane‚ told TimesLive that 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‚ health and environment issues‚ as well as the added cost to the consumer if we implement European fuel standards‚” Aphane said,

The official highlighted, however, that “significant capital investment in refineries would be financed by a higher consumer fuel price”.

“In the end‚ we will take the decision which is best for the country‚ obviously taking into account the impact on the export market.”

Read: Big petrol price hike in January

BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • Bradley Streak

    Trust the country to take a few steps back so some Zumpta supporter or Tenderpreneur in the Manganese sector can make money!!

  • I dont know better

    This smells so strongly of corruption 🙁

    • Danny Boy

      Nah, it’s the Manganese you’re smelling

      • AgentMulders

        Most likely a new Gupta/Zuma business venture into Manganese mining

    • Wurnman

      Yes she tried to corrupt the fishing and governing of fishing industry a few years back.

      • Tau’ri

        Tried? Didn’t she succeed? So badly that the fishermen on the West Coast barely have any fishing quotas/rights, as they all went to people in Gauteng who couldn’t point out the sea in a map.

        • Wurnman

          I say tried, cause the company i work for she tried to discredit amongst other things… not getting into it here.

  • Ga77a

    Clean fuel is a eurocentric conspiracy to keep Africa down. How can we trust western science that lead is bad. Let’s put it back in our fuel.

    • Konstabel Koekemoer

      Good, and while we are at it lets use lead water pipes in all de-colonialized schools.

      • Maestro

        and Fluoride in our water…

      • Sean Redmond

        And back into paint.

    • Tau’ri

      Decolonise fuel! Lead is good, makes the bones stronger and the skin impervious to the dangers of radioactivity. We’ll all be able to get a job at Koeberg to carry uranium rods wearing only our swimming costumes.

      • Thinus


      • Abduraghmaan Van Oordt

        MSP. Laughing out loud here.

  • Ektso Gedinkja

    Good. Let them do it. Then it will be reversed quickly when all their fancy Mercs and BMW’s wont be imported anymore.

    • Chris Williams

      Someone just needs to whisper that into Atomic Tina’s ear. Draft regulation will disappear faster than it appeared.

    • tongue in cheek

      better still,when those cars don’t work on their way to an already late meeting(at the Shebeen)

  • Danny Boy

    Here is what it is all about: ‘The official highlighted, however, that “significant capital investment in refineries would be financed by a higher consumer fuel price”.’

    • Jeffery Stokes

      That’s nothing. The oil companies will then be able to sell us sub-standard fuel(not that the current fuel is the best quality) and won’t drop the price.

      • Peter Hillis

        They don’t filter the heavy metals out, they are not naturally there. They add them as it is the cheapest way to increase the octane rating of the fuel.

  • Brian MrDIY

    Call me stupid here … but why? What is the reason for adding metals to our fuel when we are doing just fine right now …. or is there a problem I am not aware of?

    • Drikus Theron

      Someone from government has bought a Manganese mine and now they need to open up the market to make profit, hence adding Manganese to fuel again.

      • Jeffery Stokes

        Dont forget the oil companies behind the curtain who are making donations to make this all happen. They will make more money per litre because it would probably be cheaper to produce the fuel. Ie less need to filter and clean the fuel.

        • Chris Williams

          Highly unlikely. We’ll be one of the few countries in the world with high metal content in our fuel. Oil companies will not willfully shoot themselves in the foot by limiting the number of vehicles that their product can be used in.

          • Jeffery Stokes

            High metal in fuel won’t stop a cars engine from working. Sensors, filters and ignition timing, etc can easily be changed. Services that happen at 20k km’s will happen sooner. More failiures might happen, if out of warrenty the manufacturer makes more money. All in all car manufacturers will benefit. They might have to bite the bullet for cars still under warranty but for the most part only we will suffer. Everyone else will make money.

      • Brian MrDIY

        Thats what I was thinking … but thats not a reason to change something that aint broke.

        • tongue in cheek

          joemat = broken

    • John Deer

      Yes, MONEY for a ANC Fat Cat.!!!

  • MP3

    what the f is wrong with these ppl in government? are they deliberately trying to sabotage the economy or are they just retarded?

    • Tania

      Rhetorical question?

    • Greg Gow

      Your guess is as good as all of ours

    • Rixxi

      Your alternatives are not mutually exclusive.

    • Lupe


    • John Deer

      Someone must tell them that there is only ONE April the 1st. per year.!!!

    • Jo

      Their chief and leader never went to school remember? He is self-educated, with no knowledge about the world economy, physics, maths, or any sort of proven honest business acumen, or science.

  • Charl van der Merwe

    How can they even consider this ? f*k you Anc voters are dumb.

    • MP3

      as mentioned in the comments below, they’ve probably got a manganese mine they want to monetize…

  • Heinrich

    This is now the same Tina that gave the go ahead to sell off 10 million barrels of oil of SA’s strategic fuel reserves at way under market value. Then again, according to zoomer, corruption is a white word that doesn’t exist in their culture

  • Riaan

    Considering the inputs of ‘the manganese sector’: Doesn’t look like there are hopes for an intelligent outcome.

  • Teresa Williams

    Joemat-Pettersson is a one-woman disaster zone, all on her own.

    • OhGee1

      Couldn’t agree with you more. She is beyond useless. She messed up the ministry of Agriculture, forestries and fisheries good and solid. Now she wants to F-up Energy too, to complete the circle

      • tongue in cheek

        done& dusted when she sold strategic reserves

    • Mohamed Patel

      “Disaster Woman”…. because the name Wonder Woman was already taken.

    • John Deer

      Her INTELLIGENCE is a Disaster. What is her Education level.???? Besides her purse that took her up the ladder. She has no Chemical Engineering Qualifications, maybe one of those “you have to get 30% per subject” pass to get a “MATRICK” or Std.10 or Grade 11 certificate.

    • shelly

      It’s like everything she touches turns to crap, this woman’s face should be next to word incompetent in the dictionary

  • Tania

    “Keeping an open mind” ..more like “open wallets” for the Cadres.

  • Wurnman

    There is Satan and then his boss called Tina Joemat-Pettersson

  • l0cal_user

    Gosh, cant wait to find out which member of the Zupta gang just invested in the manganese industry.

  • tongue in cheek

    here we go again,who’s going to get the $$$?jouma andco

    • John Deer

      The ANC Owners of the Manganese mines.!!!

  • Hennie

    Quote “In the end‚ we will take the decision which is best for the country‚ obviously taking into account the impact on the export market.”Unquote. This government has never in their lives never done anything that is good for this country. Only when it was good for their pockets. They have already made a mess of SAA, SABC, ESKOM, Railways etc and the list just keep going on and on. Somewhere I smell a rat.

    • Fermanaxus Neovortamin

      as well as “significant capital investment in refineries would be financed by a higher consumer fuel price”

      which end up being, “oh would you look at that?! you guys would have to pay so much more for this highly refined……european *cough* white mans *cough* fuel. But no worries, we implement this more cost effective fuel, that’s developed right here in South Africa. Isn’t that great. Plus this will increase jobs at our manganese mines in the NC, which totally do not own or have any involvement with whatsoever. We really just want to make this a better country for everyone. Metals are bad for your car? What do you mean?! Your car is MADE of metals. You are made of meat, are you saying that eating meat is bad for you then?”

    • They have seen that Trump wants to cancel AGOA. That would mean goodbye to almost all of the car export market already.

  • Greg Gow

    Surely there is a little bit of brains there even if its only a tiny genetic amount??? Obviously NOT.

  • disqus_b2aMkaU5Z4

    This must have something to do with decolonization. Obviously meeting international / European standards is not African. People say we are going backwards, well, we will have to go way way back because even the horse & cart has to be excluded as the wheel here in Sub-Saharan Africa was introduced by those who crossed the seas.

  • Brian

    I just cant see their logic for regressing to dirty fuels. That argument was not presented… could there be a little corruption involved? In SA? Naaaahh. Never. How would additive metals affect existing cars on the road? I suppose this is all done to rid ourselves of the blight of colonialism by not adhering to European standards. Sounds like some seriously flawed logic to me.

  • Warren

    who… or should i say what… are making these outrageous decisions??

  • Kagiso

    Just tell them they won’t be able to drive German luxury vehicles. Short conversation. Thank me later

    • Skoppienaai Sewinduit

      Lol! This is gold.

      • John Deer

        Like your Nom de Plume.hahahahaa

    • Abduraghmaan Van Oordt

      LOL. Whyy so little upvotes.

  • Iain Smith

    I wonder how our country’s neighbours feel about this?
    Suddenly Botswana and Zimbabwe stop purchasing from SA and buy from Angola.

  • Discus

    another day … another moron ANC minister showing their stupidity… only one reason…. someone is lobbying and someone is making money

  • Mo

    Tina joe ma se … petrol

  • Nicolaas Geldenhuys

    I am not even in SA anymore and these retarded orangutans still make my blood boil.

  • Ah, time to decolonise the petrol it seems! Let’s go full junk status, ASAP!

  • Valecia Supra


  • Lupe

    This is just giving me a headache

  • bengine

    “In the end‚ we will take the decision which is best for the country”
    BS – you will take the decision that is best for you and your cronies and screw the rest of the country …

  • Cris

    Remember this name: Kalagadi mine in Hotozel NC.

    • John Deer

      Is that where the Manganese mines are owned by a few Fat Cat connections or the ANC itself.????

      • Cris

        Yep Google it.

        • John Deer

          Thanks Chris, do you live around their.?

          • Cris

            Hi John I live in Sandton

  • 0ctane

    This is all just media hype. Manganese use in fuel is contentious, but it has been proven that at the dosages used by refinery (max 0.36mg per litre) it is not harmful, either to vehicles or the environment. (Cars running manganese in fuels often have much lower emissions of CO, Nitrogen Oxides, Sulphur Oxides etc).

    It’s a cheap way to improve octane which could end up saving the end user!

  • John Deer

    It appears the ANC Gov. is introducing “DIRTY FUEL” to benefit the “MANGANESE” Sector. So the Question is, WHO owns the Manganese sector that is obviously going to benefit a Few Fat Cats of the ANC. No Insurance Company is going to Insure your vehicle Engine if you use “DIRTY FUEL” and no Service center is going to Guarantee the regular Motor Vehicle service you just paid a Couple of thousand Rand for. We really have Morons, VERY STUPID Morons in Government.!!! Is South Africa EVER going to enter the “20th” century, never mind the 21st. Century most of the CIVILIZED World is in.

  • Ray Mulder

    Now I wonder which ANC official has bought shares in the manganese business, and or which ANC official is on his/her way to getting a nice fat bribe payout when this goes through?
    It’s like the plastic bags we have to pay for, slowly creeping up in price, and the sugar tax, and the fuel levy…etc.
    Any stuff which has become obsolete suddenly gets prepared for a re-introduction, at a cost to the public.
    This is nothing more than another corrupt plan in the making.

  • CypherGate

    What are the benefits of re-introducing metal additives in the current petrol? Apart from it being dirtier than current ones? That’s what I’m curious about for government to even consider bringing it back in. Its logical to move towards cleaner fuels.

    • The metal additives are a cheap way to improve the octane rating. That was why a lead compound was previously added, until it became un-PC, and we then had to pay extra to buy unleaded petrol.

      • CypherGate

        I had a feeling that would be the reason. Just wasnt 100% sure. Even if they added metal additives back in that won’t influence the current cost of petrol anyway. Thats just how it goes.

  • Jacobus Pienaars

    Can this govt please just stop being the govt because really, they are a Leon Schuster movie at the moment.

  • Bill

    Where do they get these ministers from, I thought to be a minister you got to be most qualified in that field.

  • Carol

    We’ll go back to riding on donkeys, like the rest of the world already think we do.

  • David Olivier

    Three guesses who owns a Mangenese mine!!

  • David Olivier

    Find out who are invested in Abalengani Mining Investment (Pty) Ltd and Jonah Mining (Pty) Ltd.

  • Softinthemiddle

    Does the Guptas own a Manganese mine now as well??

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