Recognition of the role black industrialists have to play in our emerging economy, coupled with its commitment to reconstruct South African society to allow for more inclusive economic growth, has seen the launch of the Black Industrialist Programme by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).
While specific reference is made of the manufacturing sector, government’s call for transformation and change is as relevant across other industries, with South Africa’s petroleum industry no exception.
Gulfstream Energy, one of South Africa’s larger independent fuel companies, is leading this charge. Having recently staked its claim as the fastest growing (percentage wise) commercial fuel supplier in the country (including all majors), January 2016 saw Gulfstream reach a record distribution of 1 billion litres of fuel to date. This achievement is of particular significance in light of government’s mandate to transform the local petroleum sector.
“Recent years have seen substantial changes in the local fuel industry,” says Shane Jegels, CEO, Gulfstream Energy.
“The opening up of industry to independent players, together with the rise of black industrialists, has a critical role to play in the transformation of our industry and greater economy.”
A 100% South African owned company, in an industry traditionally dominated by global players, Gulfstream has enjoyed steady year-on-year growth since its origins in 2009. Important milestones include the 2013 collective awarding of Transnet’s largest tender to date for goods and services (valued at R15.5bn).
In addition, 2014 saw Gulfstream one of a select number of independent fuel suppliers awarded a contract for the supply of fuel products and services across a number of South African government departments, in that responsible for the delivery of millions of litres of fuel per annum across more than 100 different sites nationwide.
Gulfstream’s supply contract to Black Mountain Mine in the Northern Cape was recently extended for a further four years, in addition to being contracted to supply Deeps, an underground mine focused on the excavation of zinc, lead, silver and copper.
“We deliver, on average, over one million litres of fuel daily to every corner of South Africa,” continues Jegels. This sees Gulfstream responsible for supplying in excess of 1% of the country’s fuel demand across the public sector, various commercial sectors including mining, retail and aviation together with a significant portion of the country’s largest transport companies and three of South Africa’s four major truck stops.
“But it is about so much more than just fuel delivery,” says Jegels.
With innovation key to its culture and an ethos of ‘making business easy’ Gulfstream has gone on to enjoy many industry firsts, as evidenced by its recent partnership with Burgan Cape Terminals which positions it as the first independent supplier in the country to have access to its very own bulk fuel storage facility.
“We are proud to be associated with Gulfstream Energy,” says Govert Rietema, Director of Global Business Development at VTTI, the third largest fuel storage company worldwide. “From the outset Gulfstream has shown true partnership, including its significant contribution during last year’s NERSA hearings.”
Gulfstream’s involvement with Burgan Cape Terminals will see it with an increased storage capacity of approximately 120 million litres of fuel per annum. Together with its independently owned logistics capability, this storage facility will further enable Gulfstream to ensure quicker and greater availability to the Western Cape marketplace. A natural follow on will also see Gulfstream as the only independent participant of the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Forum, traditionally the transactional domain of South Africa’s oil majors.
“We founded Gulfstream to make a difference,” continues Jegels.
“It’s about interacting with each customer, based on its unique requirements, and doing what we can to ensure the smooth operation and sustainability of its business.”
To this end, Jegels also stresses the importance of compliance and solid internal processes as evidenced by its current endeavours to achieve ISO accreditation by 2017. This will see Gulfstream become the only independent fuel company in South Africa compliant across the areas of safety, quality and environment.
It is this very commitment, across all spheres, that has seen Gulfstream achieve its position of fastest growing commercial fuel supplier in South Africa.
“We are positive about the future of South Africa’s fuel industry,” continues Jegels, “and are energised by the enormous potential it holds to empower the lives of countless South Africans, as our country’s independent fuel companies continue to grow and take its rightful place within this transforming industry.”