The Strategic Fuel Fund Association (SFF) was established in 1964 as a Section 21 company. The first crude oil it ever owned was stored in its Milnerton tanks in 1967.
In 1975, a levy on fuel payable into the Central Energy Fund was introduced and managed by CEF (Pty) Ltd. A portion of this was paid to SFF.
In 1976, the construction of the Saldanha tank farm began and in 1978 United Nations oil sanctions were imposed against South Africa.
In 1979, the world suffered the second major international oil crisis. That was the year when the procurement of crude oil by SFF on behalf of the oil companies began and when the first Saldanha oil tank was completed. The whole Saldanha project was completed in 1982.
In 1980, SFF ceased to receive any contribution from the fuel levy. Since April of that year the company has not received any funding from the government.
In 1988 the fuel levy was discontinued and the strategic crude oil stock reached its peak of 158,5 million barrels. It would have kept South Africa going for a year and a half at the rate of consumption then prevailing.
In 1990, SFF entered the oil trading business, thereby not only making itself self-funding but also contributing to State coffers. The company also began phasing out its procurement of crude oil for the oil companies.
With the lifting of sanctions and the normalisation of international crude oil trade with South Africa, the role and activities of SFF changed profoundly. The company has prudently managed the country’s strategic crude oil stockpile and the commercialisation of the substantial crude oil storage facilities.
Over the years SFF has managed not only to generate net income for South Africa, but has also been able to finance the operating costs of maintaining the country’s strategic oil reserves at no cost to the State.
SFF has other achievements of which it can be proud. It has the best equipped and manned pollution control centre in the southern hemisphere and probably in the whole of Africa.
During the years that SFF has been involved in crude oil handling hundreds of cargoes of oil have been imported or exported without pollution of the environment.