More than 480,000 are directly related to the success of South Africa's six oil refineries worth more than Rand 200 bn ($14 billion) in economic activity, according to a new report.

'The Petroleum Industry’s Contribution to South Africa , was commissioned in 2015 by the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) and has been compiled by KPMG, using 2014 data.

Sapia president Maurice Radebe says the study is designed to offer a holistic view of the petroleum industry supply chain and provides quantitative evidence of the industry’s economic and employment contributions, according to engineeringNews.co.za..

He told EngineeringNews that the figures are also confined to Sapia “integrated members” (Sasol, Total South Africa, Chevron, BP South Africa, Engen, Shell PetroSA and Sapref) and their liquid-fuels operations. The contribution of chemicals and lubricants is not included.

KPMG reports that the study found that the Sapia members contributed Rand 9.7-billion ($680m)in capital expenditure and Rand 200-billion in revenue in 2014.

The total economic impact as a result of both capital and operational expenditure in the year was R324-billion ($22billion), or 8.5% of GDP and the sector sustained more than 96,700 direct jobs from extraction to retail. The indirect and induced jobs associated are stated more than 692,000, said the report..

The report comes amid ongoing uncertainty over the future of the country's existing refinery fleet, which is ageing and which will require significant investment if it is to be able to meet the country’s tightening fuel specifications.

Refineries have so far failed to meet emission standards in line with European regulations and some commentators argue that cheap world oil prices might make imported fuel a better option.

The government set a July 1, 2017 deadline for the introduction of new cleaner fuel but this year the government confirmed that it will not enforce the deadline but is in favour of domestic refining with clear support for a 200,000 bbl/d refinery at Coega on the Eastern Cape.

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