Monday, 12 September 2022

Petrol stations, workers and the just transition

  • Year: 2022
  • Author(s): Nokwanda Maseko (TIPS)

Petrol stations are an important part of South Africa’s fossil fuel-powered economy, providing liquid fuels for more than 12 million cars, delivering fuels to power heavy machinery for industrial and agricultural use, and employing more than 140 000 people across the country. This policy brief aims to understand petrol stations in South Africa, and in particular the people who work there. With the transition to a low-emissions economy underway, these workers are vulnerable to job losses due to the shift to electric vehicles. As such, it is important to understand who these workers are, what skills they have, as well as the resources they possess to chart the least disruptive way forward as part of a just transition. This brief looks at the economics of petrol stations in value addition, contribution to GDP and employment. It provides a profile of the workers, looking at employment, educational attainments, as well as financial resources and access to social networks. It also briefly considers some of the decisions that must be made in the coming years.

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