Motorists throughout the country have, since last night, flocked to petrol stations to fill up their tanks in anticipation of petrol tanks running dry.

An estimated 15 000 workers in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors belonging to the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) have embarked on a protected strike from today.Refinery workers, fuel truck drivers and depot workers are expected to take part in the strike.

It is expected to impact the petroleum operating businesses within Sasol namely, Sasol Synfuels, Natref and Sasol Energy.

Sasol spokesperson Alex Anderson said Sasol has put contingency plans in place to ensure the minimum disruption customers, as well as to ensure the safety of employees and contractors.

He said the company will continue to proactively monitor the situation.

“Operations continue as normal and there is no impact on production,” he said. The union is demanding a 9% wage increase and for temporary staff to become permanent after a three-month probation period.

Employers are offering 7% in the first year and inflation plus 1.5% in the second year. –