In 2006, we established our Commercial Business unit in direct response to the Government’s mandate to create opportunities for previously disadvantaged people in the petroleum industry. Initially, the unit focused on BEE wholesalers and later expanded its focus to include liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Today, Commercial Business wholesales and markets petroleum products to a mixed customer portfolio that includes wholesalers, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and gas customers. The department employs around 10 staff, most of them based in Cape Town, and accounts for 10% of PetroSA’s revenues.
Establishing our Commercial Business unit reflects our strong commitment to the principles of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE). Our mandate is to provide the country with security of supply – and also drive transformation within the oil industry. We continuously find ways of supporting BEE in our business approach, especially when it comes to engaging and nurturing oil industry suppliers within previously disadvantaged communities.
With the focus on developing productive and sustainable partnerships, especially in the B2B sector, we work closely with our customers to deliver quality, cost-effective products and services that will help them to achieve their long-term strategic objectives. In line with the principles of key account management, the Commercial Business unit has full-time sales managers whose main responsibility is to manage customer relationships. This dedicated service ensures that PetroSA stays as close as possible to the day-to-day operational and strategic needs of our customers.
We also play an expert role in keeping our customers fully up-to-date with important legislative and petroleum industry developments and issues. We endeavour to provide our customers with high quality products that meet the standards and specifications set out by the Department of Energy of South Africa. We source our products from a combination of supply points including our own state-of-the art GTL refinery in Mossel Bay and our hospitality supply agreements with other oil companies (OOCs) within South Africa.
PetroSA recently acquired key depots in Tzaneen and Bloemfontein as part of our efforts to further reinforce our supply and logistics infrastructure. These assets will help to place us among the strongest players in the Tzaneen and Bloemfontein markets. We also have a call centre in Cape Town, which is responsible for taking orders and answering customer queries.