South Africa’s gas supplies to be restored ‘in next few days’

2011-11-01 00:00

HOTELS, restaurants and caterers in the city are struggling to power up their kitchens amid the continuing shortage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) throughout the country.

Most hotels, restaurants and outlets that use or sell gas are affected by the shortage.

City Royal Hotel general manager, Phyllis Mazeka, said they are struggling to get gas but haven’t had to turn away any customers yet.

Russell Collocott of King of Drinks said they are not selling gas anymore as they have no no supplies for the past three weeks.

Not all kitchens are without gas. Redlands Hotel’s Paul Laing said they are still receiving gas from their supplier, Afrox, but fewer canisters than they used to.

Others prepared ahead when they heard that the gas shortages were looming, with Imperial Hotel financial manager Pricilla Shockey saying they doubled their stock when they heard supplies would be tight.

Ascot Inn owner Mary-Ann Klco said they remain positive that things will change soon.

Food outlets have not been spared, with Sharda Badel of Kara Nicha’s saying they are affected, but use electricity in tandem with gas.

Restaurant Association of SA (Rasa) chief financial officer Wendy Albert said more than 1 250 restaurants across the country have been affected by the shortage.

“More than 50% of restaurants in the country had to find other means to cook in their kitchens because the country is out of gas,” said Albert.

The shortage is blamed planned maintenance at the refineries of Shell sa and BP SA.

Margaret Rowe, communications manager at Sapref, a joint venture between Shell SA Refining and BP Southern Africa, said they started a planned major maintenance turnaround on August 18 , which was planned about two years in advance.

“The turnaround has now been completed and all the main units have restarted producing on-spec products. We expect to achieve maximum capacity within the next few days,” said Rowe.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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