bp Southern Africa breaks ground for a new service station at key R66/R34 junction site

A landmark ceremony was held in Ulundi as work began on a new bp service station, combining fuel with convenience shopping, at the junction of the R66 and R34 in KwaZulu-Natal.

The junction captures significant volumes of tourist, residential and industrial traffic to and from Richards Bay and Empangeni to Dundee and Newcastle. The area is underserved by stop-over and retail facilities, so the junction site will meet a valuable need by providing a safe place for motorists and truck drivers to take a break.

The sod-turning, which was attended by local mayors, community leaders and government officials, as well as a representative of the site owners, Khobo Investment Properties, is another leap forward on bp Southern Africa (bpSA)’s journey to secure more high-volume motorway and junction sites that combine mobility and convenience.

Sites like this one, which will include not only fuel sales but also a bp Express, KFC and a Steers, enable expanded on-road fleet offerings. Their versatility ensures they will remain relevant even through the energy transition.

“bpSA’s 2025 vision is to optimise its resilient hydrocarbon base to capture retail and low-carbon growth opportunities. In line with this vision, we are expanding our footprint to strategic sites, including motorways, and rolling out a consistent, competitive convenience offering,” says Nokwanda Khumalo, GM of Mobility & Convenience.

She says bpSA intends to carve out a new niche in the motorway convenience market, which has become increasingly demanding. Forecourts have to offer a distinctive, multi-faceted product that meets motorists’ needs for safety, comfort and convenience shopping when they take a break on long trips.

“We have a number of similar high-profile growth initiatives in the pipeline that will support our brand and serve our customers better into the future,” Khumalo says.

“These initiatives are also being pursued in conjunction with our strategy of transforming the racial profile of our franchisees and forecourt business owners.”

During construction, the site is expected to empower the local community with employment opportunities. In addition to jobs that will be created during construction, over 80 permanent jobs are expected post construction.

bpSA’s investment in these new sites reflects its commitment to doing business in South Africa in the long term. The group, which has had a presence in South Africa for over 100 years, serves the local market through import and distribution of refined products to the retail and wholesale markets, in conjunction with its black-owned partner, Masana. bpSA also invests in a range of social upliftment initiatives, with particular support for education and small business.