Jet fuel shortage: Mbalula assures airlines that supply has been restored

Mbalula said government and ACSA met with suppliers to ensure supply of jet fuel to all airports.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has moved to assure airlines that there was adequate jet fuel at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

This came after the country’s largest airport experienced shortages, causing at least one airline, Us United Airlines to reportedly cancel flights over the weekend.

The floods that ravaged KwaZulu-Natal and damaged railways caused logistics nightmare, affecting jet fuel supply chain from Durban to Johannesburg.

According to Mbalula, the issue was resolved after a meeting with mineral resources and energy ministry and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).

“The Departments of Transport and Mineral Resources and Energy, were mandated to put measures in place to address the jet fuel shortage experienced at OR Tambo International Airport,” said Mbalula.

“The jet fuel supply to OR Tambo International has now been stabilised. We also welcome the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by ACSA, advising all airlines, both international and domestic, on measures being implemented to obviate disruptions to air services.”

Furthermore, said the minister, ACSA worked with oil supplies for ensure fuel stock availability at airlines across the country.

“We further encourage the airlines to communicate with ACSA, in order to clear any uncertainty on this matter, rather than resorting to drastic measures such as cancelling flights.”

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Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa  granted KwaZulu-Natal the national state of disaster after the province requested it to deal with the aftermath of the devastating floods.

Ramaphosa said the floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape and a fire that ravaged shacks in Langa, Western Cape brought a “humanitarian disaster.”

“Last week’s rains have caused extensive damage to houses, businesses, roads, bridges and water, electricity, rail and telecommunications infrastructure. The flooding has disrupted fuel and food supplies.

“Nearly 4,000 homes have been completely destroyed and over 8,300 homes have been partially damaged. It is estimated that more than 40,000 people have been displaced by these floods,” he said.

Government set aside R1 billion to rebuild the province’ infrastructure, businesses and homes.

READ MORE: KZN floods: National State of Disaster will ensure ‘effective response’, leave no room for corruption