“If diesel price is too good to be true, be suspicious”

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The Automobile Association says it’s very difficult for motorists to know if the fuel they are putting in their cars is contaminated. This follows an announcement by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy that it has uncovered about 70 petrol stations in the country that are selling contaminated diesel. The contaminated diesel is allegedly mixed with illuminated paraffin.

The Department says it conducted an investigation from April to December last year as part of the fuel quality monitoring. There is about 6 500 fuel stations in South Africa. And those that have been found to sell fake fuel cannot be named and shamed due to the POPI Act. They have been issued with none compliance notices and have to provide remedial action.

“What we can say to consumers is that if you go to a service station and you find that the diesel price is too good to be true then you must be suspicious,” says Robert Maake, Spokesperson: Mineral Resources and Energy.

Experts say that it is difficult for consumers to know whether or not their fuel is contaminated. But they have been urged to look out for fuel stations that are offering discounts that are too good to be true as the fake diesel can damage the engine of their car.

“Obviously none compliance means they cannot sell that fuel and if there is proof of the damage consumers can take action,” says Layton Beard, Spokesperson for the Automobile Association.

The department says the fuel stations are mixing 50 % of diesel with paraffin to avoid paying fuel levy and the Road Accident Fund.

But so far, no filling station’s licence has been revoked.

Video: Dodgy diesel found sold around SA : Reggie Sibiya weighs in