The FRA, is a financially independent and fully autonomous association that ensures the survival and success for all its members who are Fuel Service Station Owners in the retailing of fuel in South Africa. The Association monitors and becomes involved wherever necessary with all aspects of retail fuel governance, distribution and sales in South Africa in order to protect and enhance Fuel Retailer’s Interest. The Association’s Income base is through membership fees.

Our Vision
To create a robust, sustainable environment that provides a reasonable return on investment for all efficient Fuel Retailers.

The primary objective of the FRA is to promote and protect the best interests of Fuels Retailers and its members in particular.

Our Mission
To engage with all stakeholders to facilitate and promote open and transparent communications to ensure the industry is prepared for 2010 and beyond.

Background
1. Fuel Retailers Association of Southern Africa (FRA) was and still is a Registered Employers’ Organisation under the provisions of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995.
2. Fuel Retailers Association of Southern Africa (FRA), previously known as the Service Station Association, was formerly registered with the Registrar of Labour Relations on 11th November 1996 and changed its name to Fuel Retailers Association of Southern African (FRA) on 13th February 1998.
3. Membership of the Fuel Retailers Association of Southern Africa (FRA) is limited to Entrepreneurs in the Republic of South Africa who are engaged in activities relating to the retailing of liquid petroleum and / or provision of services usually associated with such activities.
4. In terms of the provisions of the Constitution of the Fuel Retailers Association of Southern Africa (FRA), the Governance Structure of the Association is vested in a Board .
5. Fuel Retailers Association of Southern Africa (Incorporated Under Section 21), is a Public Company, Limited by Guarantee, incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act, 61 of 1973 on 5th January 2001.
6. The main objective and main business of Fuel Retailers Association of Southern Africa (Incorporated Under Section 21) as pronounced in its Memorandum of Association is: “to observe, consult and negotiate on an industry basis on any issue relevant to the well being and enhancement of fuel retailers”.

Our Services
The FRA acts swiftly and negotiates independently, collectively and individually with:
Department of Energy
SAPIA and SAPIA members
Department of Labour and other government groups
Competition Commission and National Consumer Commission
Banks / Banking Association / Payments Association of SA [PASA]

Margin
The FRA is instrumental in working with government to secure increases in the fuel profit margin by continually improving margin investigations in order to improve the viability of FRA members. These reviews are done annually in conjunction with the Department of Energy.

Legislation and regulatory framework
The FRA is pro-active in ensuring that Fuel Retailers’ voices are heard in all government legislation / regulations that affect the sustainability of our industry.

MIBCO / MIFA
The FRA is an official party to the Motor Industry Bargaining Council [MIBCO]. The Labour Relations Act provides for the self-regulation of industries through the medium of bargaining councils whose mission it is to create and maintain industrial peace and stability in the motor industry.  The FRA also represents its members in the industry pension fund, Motor Industry Fund Administrators [MIFA].

Dispute Resolution Council
Many cases have been successfully defended on behalf of FRA members by FRA appointed industrial relations consultants.  As a member, you have access to IR services at competitive rates.  Central to this is that, as a party to MIBCO, the FRA negotiates all labour related issues and policies, including wage negotiations, on behalf of its members.  This gives our members peace of mind and the ability to focus on their businesses instead of having to deal with such matters themselves.

Please phone the FRA office for regional contact details.

Training
The FRA sits on the board of the Wholesale and Retail SETA.  We supported this move to ensure that we access retailing training skills within the relevant SETA.
The FRA is continually engaging the SETA on identifying opportunities for training that are relevant for the sector.  We assist our members with SETA related queries including requirements for participation in SETA programmes.

Payments, safety and security
The FRA participates in issues related to payments, safety and security in the industry, which includes card fraud.  We take part in PASA forums and our membership of SARPIF [South African Retailers Payments Issues Forum] keeps us aware of developments in the payment sphere.

Free Services

Licence Applications
The FRA seeks to make retailing as smooth as possible for members.  In order to do this, we have an Operations Manager who deals with the Department of Energy on various matters relating to licence applications, on behalf of our members.  Such services can be costly but we provide them free of charge to our members.  Those of our members who followed the FRA process had resounding success with their applications – at no cost.

Annual Information
By law, every year all licensed retailers are required to submit information to the Department of Energy.  The FRA provides members with a free guideline template to assist with the completion of the forms.

Annual Fees
The FRA helps members who have not received their annual fee payment requests from the Department of Energy.  It is important that members pay these fees as failure to do so can lead to suspension around the retailing activity.

Proliferation of new retail service stations

Objections
With the advent of new developments, particularly in urban areas, we have seen a surge in new retail licence applications.  These developments happen against the backdrop of falling fuel sales which leads to an inefficient fuel retailing sector, contrary to Section 2B of the Petroleum Products Act [PPA].  To help our members, the FRA has develop[ed a template that gives guidance on how to prepare an objection – another free FRA service.

Appeals
In the event of an unsuccessful objection to the Controller of Petroleum Products, the next step is to appeal to the Minister.  The FRA assists members in lodging appeals – this option is made available through Section 12A of the PPA.  It is important to note that such appeals can be very costly – without success in some cases.  The FRA does whatever it can to save money for their members.

Arbitration
It is important for Fuel Retailers to know that they have recourse when relationships with the oil company break up on account of unfair contractual practices.  We have assisted members to lodge successful arbitration requests with these matters either being referred to the Arbitrator or an amicable settlement being reached with the oil company.

RAS Implementation
It is vitally important that you know what you are signing, before you do so.  This is especially relevant where the site is owned and operated by the Fuel Retailer.  The FRA has responded to numerous questions around RAS and we continue to be available to help.  The FRA has also supported Dealer Councils either with advice or presentations to oil company management on how the FRA views RAS implementation.

Other Legal Opinions
Through our networks, the FRA has assisted many members who have faced other legal or contractual issues.  We always give our members an objective view, and advise counting costs versus benefits before spending any money.  We have also consulted extensively on the Consumer Protection and Competition Acts to ensure that contracts comply with these two legislative frameworks.

Other Assistance
The FRA has been involved with matters around supply issues and engages at higher levels when there are industry supply problems.  In short, the FRA deals with every problem raised either directly by members or in collaboration with Dealer Council structures.
 
For additional services contact:  
Office Administration
Tel:  (011) 886 2664
Fax:  (011) 787 8719
Email:   fra.general@fra.org.za
Website:  www.fuelretailers.co.za