The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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What do we know about the petrol attendants we see on an almost daily basis? They are often subjected to verbal abuse. In fact, most of our 5000 petrol attendants live and work in constant fear, as this report shows. The study found that at least one violent crime is committed every day at a South African petrol station. To top it all, petrol attendants are amongst the most poorly paid employees in our formal economy.

In response to the shocking murder of five Grassy Park petrol station attendants last year, the HSRC Social Cohesion and Integration (SCI) Research Programme, in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Community Chest and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) launched an extensive study into the dynamics and social conditions at South Africa's petrol stations.

This publication has evoked widespread comment. Business Day described the 26 recommendations as "common sense", urging that they be implemented without delay and recommending a 1% levy on the price of petrol to be able to implement security structures at petrol stations. The working group gathered information from presentations, letters and submissions from interested parties and conducted a major survey of service stations in the Western Cape, interviewing petrol attendants and their managers.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 210mm x 280mm
Pages : 62
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2008-7
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2008-9
Publish Year : 2002

Executive Summary

1. The Petrol Station 5 Safety Project

2. Structure of the SA Retail Fuel Industry

3. Context and Environments

4. Violent Crime at Petrol Stations

5. Responses and Strategies

6. Conclusion and Recommendations

Appendix: Survey Methodology


Dr Adrian Hadland is a Research Director in the Democracy and Governance research programme at the HSRC. He holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town and MLitt from the University of Oxford in the UK.

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