The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) said the replacement of older petrol pumps, which cannot reflect a price of more than R9,99, would take several months.
About 18500 petrol pumps need to be replaced.
These pumps do not have digital readings and were designed to show only three digits on their screens. With the price of petrol threatening to rise above R10 a litre there is an urgent need to replace the older pumps.
The problem was reportedly picked up last month when the diesel price rose to above the R10 a litre mark in some areas.
Sapia said on Monday that it had been in discussion with the minerals and energy department regarding the pump pricing problem. "The department has supported an interim proposal for these pumps to divide the reflected pump price by 10, and then multiply the total amount of the transaction by 10 to obtain the amount to be paid by the customer," Sapia said.
This means if the price is R10,50 a litre, the pump would read R1,05, which would then have to be multiplied by 10.
While this is likely to be a massive headache for motorists and petrol attendants alike, this interim solution only applies to diesel for now.
The association said oil companies were correcting the problem, but warned that since the process required the replacement of older pumps "it will be several months until all pumps are capable of reflecting the price properly". - I-Net Bridge