No country for old pumps

Motorists and petrol-pump attendants will have to use mental arithmetic to calculate how much they owe for fuel when the price goes up on Wednesday as some pumps are not able to handle more than three digits, the South African Petrol Retailers’ Association (Sapra) said on Monday.

Sapra chairperson Wessel Strauss said that motorists would have to multiply the amount on the old pumps by 10.

Diesel customers will be affected initially, as the price will go up to R10,67 per litre for high sulphur on Wednesday and R11,72 for low sulphur, Strauss said.

“This whole price hike has caught a lot of people,” said Strauss, explaining that the older model fuel pumps in the country cannot display amounts over R9,99.

“If petrol costs R13 a litre, the pump will only show R1,30. So it will have to be multiplied by 10 in the short term.”

“It’s going to be hang of a confusing in the beginning, not only for the motorist, but for the petrol attendants as well,” he said.

“It’s going to be a schlepp for the public.”

The Department of Minerals and Energy Affairs was due to explain these short-term measures to the public on Monday, he said.

A department spokesperson was not immediately available to comment. - Sapa

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