Now only 95 LRP and 95, 93 and 91 unleaded petrol is available at the coast and inland regions are allowed to sell 93 LRP and 95, 93 and 91 unleaded petrol.
BP has been at the forefront of the Cleaner Fuels debate in South Africa for some years after introducing its lead replacement fuel, Cleaner Super, four years ahead of the 2006 legislation and recently adding its low sulphur diesel fuel, Cleaner Diesel 500 in SA as part of its $1-billion global programme.
Its research shows one of the biggest myths amongst leaded fuel users is the white tailpipe association with engine performance.
During combustion, leaded fuel forms white residues of lead oxide in cars' exhaust pipes, which some motorists and drivers believe to be an indication of effective and cleaner fuel combustion than the black residue left by unleaded fuel.
"This is not correct", says BP's Nyasha Mugadza, BP's Fuels Development Manager.
She says the white deposits of lead oxide could be dangerous to human health and has also proven to have a detrimental effect on the environment.
"Various global studies have proved that lead in the air (mainly as a result of tailpipe emissions) reduces the intellectual performance of children, and in adults it has been connected to elevated blood pressure causing hypertension, heart attacks and premature death.
"The emissions from vehicles running on leaded petrol account for more than 90% of all atmospheric lead pollution.
Another big misconception is the belief that leaded petrol is technically superior to unleaded petrol and enables car engines to perform better.
"Tests done by independent bodies both overseas and locally show that a vehicle using a lead replacement fuel - like BP's Cleaner Super - performs equally well when it runs on leaded fuel.
"But the fumes that are emitted into the air are free of lead, which is better for human health and the environment.
Lead was added to petrol in the 1920' as a cost effective way of boosting octane and also served as a lubricant for engine exhaust valves, which helped prevent wear and tear on the valves.
BP Cleaner Super replaces lead with potassium, which lubricates the valves in older cars and provides protection for the valve seats.
Most cars manufactured after 1986 have hardened valve seat inserts and hence are not susceptible to this problem.
"BP Cleaner Super also offers further benefits - it not only protects valve seats, but also the spark plugs and other engine components - a major consideration for motorists looking for optimal performance and life span of their vehicle components.
"Fuel studies have revealed that lead replacement petrol, which is manufactured with an unleaded base fuel actually extends engine life by reducing corrosive wear of piston rings and cylinder walls.
"Vehicles using leaded petrol need spark plug replacements up to twice as often as those running on LRP and need between four to 10 times as many replacements of exhaust system components during their lifetimes.
"Motorists using BP Cleaner Super can be confident that it will work effectively in their cars with the added benefit of contributing to a cleaner environment.
"In addition, from a performance perspective, LRP has the exact same octane rating as unleaded petrol (95 in coastal areas and 93 inland) and users can be assured of a satisfying experience", says Mugadza.
BP's Cleaner Diesel 500, in addition to being more environmentally friendly, also contains an innovative five-in-one additive which includes an ignition improver for superior combustion and efficiency; detergent for cleaner fuel pumps and injectors; anti-wear to protect premature wear of pumps and injectors; anti-corrosion agents to protect fuel lines and tanks as well as anti-foam agents which will result in faster refueling
Although the Department of Minerals and Energy has legislated that heavy-metals-based unleaded fuel be phased out in 2006, lead replacement petrol will be allowed to have heavy metals added to it.
If this is the case, government requires that there be clear labeling at the pump indicating this to motorists.
"BP is opposed to the use of MMT (heavy metals) in petrol because exposure to airborne manganese and its compounds may be harmful to health, and because of the negative effect it has on catalytic converters.
"Therefore we will not use MMT in the manufacturing of unleaded petrol, lead replacement petrol or diesel and where possible, we will refuse to accept product containing MMT under exchange agreements.
"In our attempt to encourage consumer awareness, BP has absorbed all the additional costs associated with producing and supplying a lead and heavy-metal-free BP Cleaner Super and Cleaner Unleaded so far", says Mugadza.
A set of simple guidelines has been put together and posted on industry websites, which indicates the appropriate fuels to be used by motorists depending on the age and model of their vehicle.
Motorists can contact the BP Helpdesk on 0860 222 456 or click here for more information.
Or you can log on to the National Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa's website www.naamsa.co.za and/or the South African Petroleum Industry Organisation's website www.sapia.co.za