Transnet and the Hawks, meanwhile, have made a breakthrough in the arrest of fuel thieves.
A person was arrested earlier this week in connection with the fuel theft at the Transnet pipeline between Kendal and Witbank in Mpumalanga, Transnet spokesperson Ayanda Shezi said on Thursday.
It was part of a joint security operation by Transnet, the Hawks, National Intelligence and the police.
According to Shezi, the Hawks have arrested a number of people over the past few months due to theft of fuel from pipelines and due to tampering with essential infrastructure. Most of the suspects have already appeared in court, and their cases have been postponed while investigations are ongoing.
Transnet had to shut down its fuel pipeline between Durban and Gauteng a few times over the past month due to damage where thieves stole fuel. This has contributed to the current fuel shortages in the interior.
The pipeline is currently back in operation, Transnet Pipelines confirmed, but according to Sapia, it takes seven to 14 days for the pipeline to fully deliver its product to the other point in Gauteng when it was switched off. There have been more than 30 cases of theft from the pipeline since April, with more than 2 million liters of fuel stolen, according to Agri SA’s information.