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Here’s why most LP Gas retailers are operating illegally

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LP Gas

With the erratic electricity power supply, Zimbabweans have been forced to adopt alternatives such as LP gas which was previously nonentity especially because of the “fears” that surround the use of LP gas in the home.

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This has seen the mushrooming of LP Gas retailers, especially in the high-density suburbs. As it turns out, most of these retailers are illegal as they neither have licenses or permits to sell LP Gas.

Because of security requirements in terms of how volatile and dangerous LP Gas is, the resellers are required to set up a ZERA certified gas station. This is a 2.5-metre X 2.4-metre X 2.4-metre cage unit made out of iron bars and covered by Chrome deck sheets with an ideal placement plan for gas cylinders inside. This cage is supposed to be placed in an open air setup. (The site plan can be downloaded here).

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For one to get a Gas Retailer licence they need to apply through the local authorities’ Town Planning, Fire and Environment Department where they present their company particulars including CR14, CR6, CR2, Certification of Incorporation and Lease agreement or deeds of the area to be used . (Honestly?)

After the councils, resellers then have to get a compliance certificate from the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Zimbabwe Energy Regulation Authority. This is to ensure that the premises are suitable for setting up a fuel station and that the fuel itself does not seep toxins into water suppliers and so forth, or such cases as in the event of a fire, what type of environmental damage will be experienced.

The process involved with getting an LP Gas Retailer's licence
The process and frustrations involved with getting an LP Gas Retailer’s licence

Without looking at the complex Local Authority and EMA charges, the ZERA licence is granted at $100 for 2 years. Considering the way our councils are run, it is no wonder LP Gas is sold from the back of the house rather than the demarcated space, exposing people to the dangers of explosion and fires.

Anyone who has dealt with the local authorities especially will tell you that it is not an easy process to get from one point to another whether or not you meet the requirements instructed. It usually requires greasing the cogs that work to get your documents stamped.

image credit: tribune.com


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8 thoughts on “Here’s why most LP Gas retailers are operating illegally

  1. the law is good and protedcts all, sadly in zimbabwe there is no rule of law, i used to think the talk of rule of law was nonsense but now i see lack of it has got us into an economic crisis. one day government takes this or that no laws followed, next you have corruption, next you have a guy selling airtime arrested by an officer who also buys airtime from the same guy, even the mayor buys airtime from from a street vendor then you know that the law is outdated and out of synch with reality.

    i believe in safety and its critical such laws are there, the reason why such a law is not being enforced is it is out synch with reality or something is wrong somewhere. who would do all that and apply for such an expensive licence if they could get a job elsewhere after all the returns are not all that big,

    here are the challenges.
    1. unemployment
    2. corruption is a barrier to compliance
    3.power crisis
    4.laack of vision
    5.EMA is a toothless dog
    6. ZERA benefits a few

    in short corruption is killing us and will continue to until we learn the law is for all and must be applied to all.

    implement the law and see gas sold on the black market.kkkkkk

  2. Do not trouble youself trying to apply for permit, you will never get it. Haibudi. I have been operating illegally for 1 year now and my applications for just the first stage at council has been sitting there I paid more than $300 todate. The gas business can give you $400 a month so if you pay the attendant minimum wage you can’t even afford transport to ferry orders, let alone bribes for inspectors

  3. #Komrade you soo right..with all those protocols full of high probabilities of “NO!” to your Licence application than the “yes” and considering the Margin/Mark-up from Retailing the LPG which is currently ranging from $0.20 to $1.00 translated $200 to $50 NET profits per months after considering attendant salary, transport for re-ordering……Then you pay $500 in Licence application….to hell, I am selling it illegally then.

  4. Komrade you soo right..with all those protocols full of high probabilities of “NO!” to your Licence application than the “yes” and considering the Margin/Mark-up from Retailing the LPG which is currently ranging from $0.20 to $1.00 translated $200 to $50 NET profits per months after considering attendant salary, transport for re-ordering……Then you pay $500 in Licence application….to hell, I am selling it illegally then.

  5. I think the zera guys are trying to justify their existence why should they be the watch dog for the other authorities how can you have to produce all the other permits which will cost you close to $1000 upwards to get a license for $100 These are just ill thought regulations

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