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Comment Sought on Petrol Station Licence Application Guidelines

January 10, 2020

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

10 January 2020

Draft guidelines setting out criteria for the evaluation of applications for petrol station site and retail licences have been drawn up.

The mineral resources and energy department published the proposed Guidelines to Applicants for New to Industry Site and Retail Licences in Government Gazette 42946 in terms of the Petroleum Products Act.

The draft guidelines flow from two court cases where the mineral resources and energy minister was instructed to formulate guidelines informing applicants of the criteria by which their licence applications will be evaluated.

According to the draft guidelines, the Controller will investigate applications and provide applicants with an opportunity to respond to any objections, findings and additional information obtained from third parties. Thereafter, the Controller will make a decision on the applications.

The draft guidelines point out that each application is different in terms of required information necessary to evaluate an application and, therefore, it is “virtually impossible to pre-determine exactly what information would be required in each specific instance where an application is received.”

Nevertheless, as a consequence of the judgements and uncertainty amongst applicants on the evaluation criteria, the draft guidelines were drawn up designed to “elucidate upon the applicable legislation and regulations” but not intended to be binding and enforceable.

The draft guidelines focus on applicable legislation and regulations, Regulations Regarding Petroleum Products Site and Retail Licences published in 2006, documents and information to be submitted in terms of the regulations and factors to be considered in determining the need for a new site.

Factors to be considered in determining the need for a new site include the number of existing service stations and proximity to the proposed site; petroleum products volumes pumped by competitor sites, design/storage capacity of existing sites and impact on existing sites; location of site; feasibility studies and traffic counts; employment opportunities and small business development and transformation of the sector.

Comment is invited within 60 days of the date of publication.