South Africa is one of few nations where you can still visit a petrol station and be greeted by a friendly worker who will offer to fill your car. It’s those friendly workers that are seeing possible pay cuts due to the theft that seems to be on the rise.
In just one week NewsLite SA have reported 3 fuel thefts that were caught on camera, each time the vehicles are of high value. We question ourselves, what is causing these car owners to not cough up the money and what gives them the right to not pay?
Could it be stubbornness or self entitlement? Do the owners feel like they are owed something for free or can it be narrowed down to just criminal activity.
Another possible cause for the increased thefts could be due to the influx in fuel costs. Are South Africans seeing inflation in every day costs and not seeing their salaries rising with it?
The National Minimum Wage in South Africa is R20 per hour, working one hour would get you 1.25L of fuel in your vehicle. If we compare this with the UK – South African’s are receiving 6 times less for their wage to fuel ratio. Economy is not simple… The fuel has to be imported at a price, but could the price be the issue with thefts?
Fuel theft costing millions
Fuel theft is nothing new, it has been happening for years and seems to be extremely difficult to stop.
Recently The Hawks arrested two individuals who stole R3,000,000 worth of fuel, they managed to take control of four tankers that contained petrol and diesel. Even though this is not as low level to the theft at petrol stations it’s still ‘fuel theft’.
#sapsHAWKS Two suspects arrested on 29/12 for alleged theft of fuel valued over R3mill in Warden. Four tankers with stolen diesel & petrol were intercepted and seized. Pair to appear in court in Warden on 02/01. SWhttps://t.co/rMXrWe94hO pic.twitter.com/DINyMMSM2O— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) December 30, 2019
Many would say that it’s time for South Africa to make the move to the latest a greatest systems like we see from those across the waters. Take the United Kingdom for instance, most stations are fitted with number plate recognition cameras accompanied with some being card only payment. The fuel pumps will only start to provide fuel once the card has been authorised and your payment is then taken once the transaction has completed.
It is however a tricky decision! Many will find it an inconvenience to use card only payments, some will even argue that attendants could lose their job which could further increase unemployment.
Where do we draw the line, what could possibly be done that will lower the thefts without the possibility of job losses? We believe it’s not a simple fix but most certainly something to investigate further.
What are your thoughts on the current fuel theft’s we are seeing? We’d love to know your opinions.
Mercedes Benz (07/01/2020)
In the latest video the owner can be seen changing his number plate after filling his vehicle with petrol.