Several motorists were delayed for more than an hour on the N1 highway north of Pretoria when their engines stalled after they had filled up with water-contaminated petrol at Total Petroport Panorama yesterday and on Sunday.
Thabang Thutloa of Alexandra in Johannesburg, one of the affected motorists, said his minibus engine failed to start after he had filled up at the service station on Sunday night.
"Luckily I was travelling with two mechanics among the people I was transporting. They discovered that the petrol pipe from the engine to the carburettor contained water instead of petrol," he said.
Thutloa said he then approached the service station manager, who disputed the possibility of the water coming from his pumps.
"While we were arguing, another motorist who had just filled up his tank came and reported to that his engine had stalled less than 300m from the garage.
"When he checked his engine he discovered the same problem we had," Thutloa said.
A mechanic and petrol attendants were busy draining water-contaminated petrol out of Antjie Richter's tank when Sowetan arrived at the service station yesterday.
"I filled up my tank, but my car wouldn't start after that.
"I discovered that other motorists had had the same problem the previous day, but the petrol attendants thought the problem had been solved," Richter said, adding she had been delayed for more than an hour.
Casper Badenhorst, owner of Total Petroport Panorama, said they had noticed the petrol contamination in one of their pumps after 10am on Sunday.
"Total sent contractors out on Sunday to investigate the petrol contamination, and I was told the problem had been solved," he said.
Total South Africa network business consultant Marnie Swarts would not comment until their investigations had been completed.