The FRA acts swiftly and negotiates independently, collectively and individually with:
Department of Energy
SAPIA and SAPIA members
Department of Labour and other government groups
Competition Commission and National Consumer Commission
Banks / Banking Association / Payments Association of SA [PASA]
The FRA is instrumental in working with government to secure increases in the fuel profit margin by continually improving margin investigations in order to improve the viability of FRA members. These reviews are done annually in conjunction with the Department of Energy.
Legislation and regulatory framework
The FRA is pro-active in ensuring that Fuel Retailers’ voices are heard in all government legislation / regulations that affect the sustainability of our industry.
MIBCO / MIFA
The FRA is an official party to the Motor Industry Bargaining Council [MIBCO]. The Labour Relations Act provides for the self-regulation of industries through the medium of bargaining councils whose mission it is to create and maintain industrial peace and stability in the motor industry. The FRA also represents its members in the industry pension fund, Motor Industry Fund Administrators [MIFA].
Dispute Resolution Council
Many cases have been successfully defended on behalf of FRA members by FRA appointed industrial relations consultants. As a member, you have access to IR services at competitive rates. Central to this is that, as a party to MIBCO, the FRA negotiates all labour related issues and policies, including wage negotiations, on behalf of its members. This gives our members peace of mind and the ability to focus on their businesses instead of having to deal with such matters themselves.
Please phone the FRA office for regional contact details.
The FRA sits on the board of the Wholesale and Retail SETA. We supported this move to ensure that we access retailing training skills within the relevant SETA.
The FRA is continually engaging the SETA on identifying opportunities for training that are relevant for the sector. We assist our members with SETA related queries including requirements for participation in SETA programmes.
Payments, safety and security
The FRA participates in issues related to payments, safety and security in the industry, which includes card fraud. We take part in PASA forums and our membership of SARPIF [South African Retailers Payments Issues Forum] keeps us aware of developments in the payment sphere.
The FRA seeks to make retailing as smooth as possible for members. In order to do this, we have an Operations Manager who deals with the Department of Energy on various matters relating to licence applications, on behalf of our members. Such services can be costly but we provide them free of charge to our members. Those of our members who followed the FRA process had resounding success with their applications – at no cost.
By law, every year all licensed retailers are required to submit information to the Department of Energy. The FRA provides members with a free guideline template to assist with the completion of the forms.
The FRA helps members who have not received their annual fee payment requests from the Department of Energy. It is important that members pay these fees as failure to do so can lead to suspension around the retailing activity.
Proliferation of new retail service stations
With the advent of new developments, particularly in urban areas, we have seen a surge in new retail licence applications. These developments happen against the backdrop of falling fuel sales which leads to an inefficient fuel retailing sector, contrary to Section 2B of the Petroleum Products Act [PPA]. To help our members, the FRA has develop[ed a template that gives guidance on how to prepare an objection – another free FRA service.
In the event of an unsuccessful objection to the Controller of Petroleum Products, the next step is to appeal to the Minister. The FRA assists members in lodging appeals – this option is made available through Section 12A of the PPA. It is important to note that such appeals can be very costly – without success in some cases. The FRA does whatever it can to save money for their members.
It is important for Fuel Retailers to know that they have recourse when relationships with the oil company break up on account of unfair contractual practices. We have assisted members to lodge successful arbitration requests with these matters either being referred to the Arbitrator or an amicable settlement being reached with the oil company.
It is vitally important that you know what you are signing, before you do so. This is especially relevant where the site is owned and operated by the Fuel Retailer. The FRA has responded to numerous questions around RAS and we continue to be available to help. The FRA has also supported Dealer Councils either with advice or presentations to oil company management on how the FRA views RAS implementation.
Other Legal Opinions
Through our networks, the FRA has assisted many members who have faced other legal or contractual issues. We always give our members an objective view, and advise counting costs versus benefits before spending any money. We have also consulted extensively on the Consumer Protection and Competition Acts to ensure that contracts comply with these two legislative frameworks.
The FRA has been involved with matters around supply issues and engages at higher levels when there are industry supply problems. In short, the FRA deals with every problem raised either directly by members or in collaboration with Dealer Council structures.
For additional services contact: Office Administration
Tel: (011) 886 2664
Fax: (011) 787 8719