Nuus / News

8 12 May / 8 July 2011 Julie 2010 Mei 2010

03

Paying cash for petrol could soon be a thing of the past, says BP
Since the introduction of debit card fuel payments in 2007, forecourt retailers, particularly BP who has taken the lead in this regard, have found a steady increase in usage. Sipho Mbelle, BP’s Head of Sales and Marketing says more than 30% of all its forecourt fuel payments are now done by debit cards while about 10% of users still use their garage cards. He estimates that plastic will be the dominant mode of payment for fuel as opposed to cash in the near future. “In the past cash was king, but since the advent of portable payment terminals, more consumers are drawn to the convenience of paying with a card, particularly a debit card, as this is the

Responsible action needed now
Agri SA President Johannes Möller today called on all South Africans to condemn violent crime and crime in general and to cooperate within community context to provide the police with information on planned crimes and criminals. He also strongly condemned brutal crimes perpetrated against the farming community, such as the recent murder of Mr André van der Merwe, a farmer from Ottosdal, as well as the murder of Ms Johanna Parken and a farm worker on a smallholding outside of Lephalale, and said South Africa can no longer afford this. “The farming community represents the hand that provides our nation with food and offers a livelihood to many people in rural areas. Crime places a question mark over our democracy and the protection of human rights. Criminality detracts from stability and progress and creates a negative picture in the international community which, in turn, undermines investor confidence in South Africa,” says Möller. He appealed urgently to all South Africans to refrain from unqualified, derogatory and inflammatory statements about commercial farmers. Such statements do not contribute to nation-building and a peaceful society, but polarise communities. “As responsible citizens we must respect one another’s rights and ensure that criminals no longer feel safe within our communities,” says Möller. According to Möller, responsible action and statements by political parties and their members are essential in the run-up to local government elections, while members of political parties should refrain from issuing radical statements that could have a negative impact on certain communities. Such statements are usually accompanied by emotion which leads to incorrect perceptions of people. Political parties should strongly condemn violent crime which has already drastically changed the lives of many South Africans. Institutions such as the Human Rights Commission (HRC) were established to protect all human rights. These institutions should do their work without bias and should help to create a culture of tolerance in South African society. He called on Parliament to introduce legislation aimed at hate speech in order for prosecution to take place within a legal framework. Möller also called on Agri SA members to assist the police in crime prevention and to report all crime to the police. “A responsibility also rests on our members to inform Agri SA about poor service delivery on the part of the police. Such matters will be dealt with nationally if they cannot be resolved at provincial level.” President Zuma, is currently considering amnesty for various prisoners, including murderers involved in farm murders. “We urge him to ensure that all the correct procedures are followed, such as consultation with victims and their next of kin, before amnesty is granted, especially for murderers,” says Möller. Agri SA established the Agri Securitas Trust Fund to allocate funding to farming communities for crime prevention. Through the involvement of the Fund, various projects aimed at improving the safety of farmers, farm workers and their families have already been financed. “The Fund is intended to promote alertness among the farming community and, on a continuous basis, considers requests for financial assistance to safeguard the rural community,” concluded Möller.

easiest payment method for the bulk of banking customers in SA. “It’s also safer to pay for fuel with a bank card as it eliminates the need for cash. To make the transaction even more secure, the entire process is done in full sight of the customer. The card is not taken away to be swiped at a central point, but is conveniently done right at the pump in one’s car which also reduces the possibility of fraud”, says Mbelle. In the past, due to the regulated petroleum market, petrol could not be paid for by bank cards (other than garage cards specially created for this purpose). But, now a growing number of consumers are choosing the safer, easier, plastic option for fuel over cash. Statistics from the Payment Association of South Africa show more than 7 out of 10 transactions in South Africa are being done with debit cards. BP continues to support the majority of its fuel retail network as part of its stated safety policy and as part of its efforts to help government more fully realize its crime prevention objectives by reducing cash at service stations. Since the company launched its initiative to reduce cash on forecourts four years ago by introducing Swipa, its portable payment system, it has successfully removed more than R5billion in cash from its forecourts. This has resulted in further curbing cash-related robberies and made its forecourts far safer for BP staff and customers. BP remains the leading fuel company with methods of payments, accepting almost all money tender, including gift cards, for the payment of fuel at most of its service stations countrywide. Mbelle says, “Motorists are able to pay for fuel with any garage, fleet, debit, credit, cheque, charge card (such as American Express), and even Visa or MasterCard gift cards – at the majority of our service stations nationally”.

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