Caltex (Africa) Ltd

Caltex (Africa) Ltd

Salisbury

 

Caltex is a petroleum brand name of Chevron Corporation used in more than 60 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and Southern Africa. It started in Southern Africa as the Texas Company (S.A.) Ltd before changing to Caltex (Africa) Ltd in 1941, then to Caltex Oil (S.A.) Ltd in 1964.

With the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI), sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on Rhodesia on 16th December, 1966 (extended in 1968 to a total economic boycott) saw oil directed from South Africa into Rhodesia in violation of the sanctions by British companies Shell and BP in arrangement with Caltex and Mobil. In 1972, the name changed to Caltex Oil (S.A.) Pty Ltd.

On 11th December, 1978, the Caltex refinery in Salisbury caught fire. A ZANLA unit penetrated the outskirts of Salisbury and fired a volley of rockets and incendiary device rounds into the main oil storage depot – the most heavily defended economic asset in the country. The storage tanks burned for five days, giving off a column of smoke that could be seen 80 miles (130 km) away. Half a million barrels of petroleum product (comprising Rhodesia’s strategic oil reserve) were lost.

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  • James Gavin
  • Keith Harrop