Gas supplier Afrox says it is working with the authorities and that hospital deliveries to areas affected by civil strife remain a priority where police escort is available.
As a result of the unrest across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in recent days, and in order to meet demand for medical oxygen, Afrox has invoked force majeure on the supply of industrial oxygen cylinders to industrial customers and is converting thousands of these industrial cylinders to medical-grade cylinders for distribution to hospitals.
Afrox will undertake normal deliveries of industrial gases and medical oxygen by bulk tanker where it is safe to do so.
In areas which are not considered safe destinations, deliveries will only be undertaken if police escorts are available, it states.
Further, owing to the disruption of vehicle movement on the N3 between KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, Afrox has declared force majeure, which mainly affects KwaZulu-Natal and various inland provinces, as bulk tankers are unable to travel safely from the import terminal in Richards Bay.
In addition, in terms of hard goods, it has declared force majeure owing to general road safety concerns and where imports are undertaken through Durban, in particular.