Caltex oil refinery in Milnerton

Caltex oil refinery

We've been trying to get a photo of this oil refinery for almost as long as we've been running this blog. Paul's tried while I was driving; I've tried while Paul was driving; I've even tried snapping a shot while stopped at the traffic lights opposite the refinery; but for some reason the angle and light has never been quite right and we've always ended up with a tree in the way, or blurry shots, or a passing car obscuring the subject.

Yes, of course, in theory we could just pull the car off the road and walk back a little way to get a good shot, but the trouble is that we're always (and I mean ALWAYS) in a hurry when we're passing this way. A few days ago we got lucky though, and you can see the result above (this is just a small part of the refinery complex, of course). I'll leave it to you to guess who was doing the driving and who was doing the shooting... ;-)

The refinery was built in the early 1960s and began operations in 1966. Of course, it's been upgraded a few times since then, and according to the Caltex website it "remains one of the largest industrial undertakings in the Western Cape, providing much-needed jobs and economic growth in the area." Unfortunately it also provides a rather unpleasant fragrance, but that's a story for another day...

50 thoughts on “Caltex oil refinery in Milnerton

  1. Sandise

    Dear sir/madam

    I am an s4 chemical engineering student at Cape Peninsula University of technology and i am looking for in-service training in your company for next year (2010).

    I’m looking forward to hear from you

    Your sincerely

  2. Paul

    Hi Sandise, unfortunately Cape Town Daily Photo doesn’t currently require the services of a chemical engineer. Perhaps you could try applying at Caltex? ;)

    Indeed mjw. :)

  3. Corlette

    Hi, I study at Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography. We currently have a brief where we have to shoot a landscape. I decided that I wanted to shoot the refinery, what a bad decision! They said it’s illegal, and when I asked for permission they always referred me to someone else…so I found another way to shoot it!

    Just actually wanted to say that they don’t give good customer service!!!

  4. Driaan Louw

    Hey there guys, had such a good laugh at the comment, and the explanation of the ground leaks.
    Our company worked on the last Chevron 2010 Shut Down, what an incredible place to work, and yes taking photos is very illegal.
    Thank you for the amazing high quality photo, who can I ask for permission to publish this photo on our website with the article from the shutdown?


  5. Mlungisi

    I am a student at Mangosuthu University of Technology and looking for inservice training in your company.I will apprecaite if you could send me a notification if you do offer this in your company.

  6. Nozibele

    I am a student at Walter Sisulu University of Technology and I’m looking for an inservice training in your company. I’m doing ND Electrical Engineering S4 Heavy current.I will appreciate if my application will give you highly concideration

  7. Paul

    Hi Corlette,

    Sorry for not responding sooner – I must have missed your message somehow. I never realised that it would be “illegal”. I wonder if it really is. Have you posted your photo online somewhere for us to see?


  8. Paul

    Hi Driaan,

    Do you have an idea why it would be considered illegal to photograph the refinery? That’s so weird.

    You’re welcome to use the photo on condition that you link back to this article.


  9. Paul

    Thansanqa zuma, Mlungisi, Nozibele,

    You guys… you must be ripping us off here. Nobody could seriously confuse Cape Town Daily Photo with Caltex. Nice one. Good luck with that job-hunting!


  10. Paul

    Hi Gary – names have nothing to do with my response, and based on my knowledge of mjw, nothing to do with theirs either. If you’d been the fifth person to reply on the article to ask for employment, I’d certainly have directed the comment at you also.

    My last comment, and reply to mjw, could be read in a condescending tone… you’re correct. I’m sorry if this offended you.

  11. Nontando Xanise

    hi all out there im not sure if you can help me with but im looking for a guy called Sibusiso Maseko who is currenty working at Caltex oil refinery in Milnerton give him my eamil adrees if u can plz reply soon

  12. privilege

    hie im currenty doing grade 12 ,subjects physical sciences ,biology,geography. and intent to study chemical engineering next year .so was wondering if there is no saferty wacther vaccancies. If ya then pliz inform me

  13. nicole fredericks

    goodday: sir/madam
    im an ambitious student at cape peninsula university of technology who is looking for inservice training job at your company.i strive towards success and i have a passion for petro-chemistry.i would appreciated if you could let me know when there’s vacancy available for me.

    your sincerely
    Mrs N. Fredericks

  14. Paul

    Hi Nontando, lazarus, privilege, nicole,

    Best of luck with finding a position at Caltex. Unfortunately this is not their site, I merely posted a photo of the refinery here.


  15. MOKEU


    i completed chemical engineering S4 last year at Tshwane University of Technology and i am looking for in-service training. will you please forward me the relevent people’s contact details

  16. lungiswa

    Dear Sir/Madam

    im a looking for a job in your company i was a student in CPUT Bellville Campus studying CHEMICAL ENGINEERING but financially i didn’t finish please respond.

  17. Paul

    Matthew, yes, I briefly considered that.

    I keep hoping that there’s some reason (besides for not reading the article) that caused the folk above to think that they can apply for a job though this site. Perhaps a total naivety regarding the web?

    Let’s hope that they’re better at chemistry than at the Interwebs… :)

  18. Paul

    Mjw… perhaps it’s better to imagine that someone’s messing with us. I doubt it, but if so, it’s awesome of them to have kept it up for this long.

    Oh, and I can’t say that I don’t smile each time I find a job application in my mailbox. It’s kinda like a highlight of the day. :)

  19. Tnarg


    I’m a IT solution architect for large South African insurance company.

    Lately I’ve been thinking of changing things up and taking up a career in Chemical Engineering.

    While searching for a job, I found your career information portal and would like to know if Caltex HR has any vacancies at this point in time.

    Please let me know at your earliest convenience when I can come for an interview.

    If you don’t have any vacancies for Chemical Engineers at this time, I’ll take a job in your IT department.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Tnarg Naud

  20. mjw

    Hello Tnarg

    I cannot official speak for Caltex but I am empowered to do initial application vetting on behalf of intermediary Cape Town Daily Photo.

    The leap from insurance to chemical engineering can be daunting so it’s key for us to determine your suitability and ability to sustain long-term psychological damage.

    As part of your application, please submit a flow chart that answers the following question: if a wood chuck could chuck chemical bonds, where would s/he store the zinc stearate?

    (Coincidentally, should you not be successful in your endeavours to move to chemical engineering, the flow chart will be extremely helpful in our attempts to evaluate your suitability for IT.)

    Kind regards

  21. Twanano Rhys

    hi, i’m doing ma s1 at Vaal University of Technology. can you please notify me on my e-mail of eny in serve for Electrical heavy current. i will be gland if my request be considered

  22. Zithobile P. Mfeka

    Dear sir/madam Im current doing my S4 in chemical engineering at Mangosuthu university of technology, im looking for an in-service training in your company for next year 2014. Will you please forward me the relavent pleople’s contact details. Im looking forward to hear from you.

  23. Paul

    Hi Zithobile, to be honest, I don’t have much use for a chemical engineer, well, unless you take particularly great photos. :)

    That said, if you read though the comments a little higher up on this page you’ll find a link to Caltex’s contact page. Perhaps they could help you out with a relevant position? :P

    Good luck!

  24. Nkululeko Mkhize

    Hi, I am a DCTC student, studying toward a National Diploma in chemical engineering, I have finished all my N(S), So nw i am looking for 2 years inservice traininng in order to obtain my Diploma.

    I am a hard workinga student, who loves facing new challenges in life, i have good chemical engineering theory background.

  25. MHB

    Hey Paul, I’m looking for a job at Caltex…… LMAO!

    It’s really funny looking at these comments, sorry for derailing the subject.
    But honestly, if I were a Caltex recruiter, I would look at these people applying here, and question their ability at anything they apply for.

    Unless if it’s a joke, right? Maybe one of those job search aggregator sites that’s incorrectly listing this page as a job listing?

  26. Paul

    I’d say I wish it were a joke, but tbh while I was incredulous at first, I’m now kinda fascinated by it all… and just unable to bring myself to turn comments off. Haha. :)

    No no, I don’t think we’ve been listed on a job search aggregator… we are pretty well ranked for “Caltex Milnerton” on Google though.

  27. alroy

    I looking for job as a genereal worker at caltex oil refinery if possible …?where do i send my cv please reply soon …

  28. Sivuyile Ndabezimbi

    goodday: sir/madam
    im an ambitious student at cape peninsula university of technology currently i am doing S4 who is looking for inservice training job at your company.i would appreciated if you could let me know when there’s vacancy available for me.

    your sincerely


  29. Cal


    The photo is actually awesome. Thanks for posting it.

    These guys asking for in service training is giving us, as Chem Eng students, a bad name. They should do proper planning for their studies and they should have applied for ‘In service training’ long time ago.

    With regards to photos being taken illegaly, unfortunately thats the truth. Im working for Sasol and they have a privacy policy prohibiting photos being taken on site due to leaks to media or any other situation.

    Hope this helps

  30. Paul Gilowey

    Hi Cal,

    Thanks, glad you like the photo!

    You’re correct, unfortunately – so thanks for your comments – hopefully you’re helping to restore some of what the guys above have tarnished. I think people reading this understand that sometimes people are just silly and for whatever reason mistake something (like this article) for what it’s not. Perhaps, in this case, it’s due to thorough and honest confusion as to how the Web works – possibly due to background and lack of exposure to the Web. If that is the case, then wow, it’s something we need to solve to give people like this a fighting chance in today’s world.

    In some way the Western Cape Government is making progress in that area – they’re soon to start rolling out public, freely-available wifi access at public libraries, schools, and other municipal buildings.

    In terms of photos – for sure, I understand why Sasol would prohibit folk to take photos of their buildings and equipment. I was wondering about any legal prohibition on taking photos of the structures from outside of Sasol or Chevron’s land – like the one in this post. By “legal” I mean in terms of South African law, not the issue of taking photos from within the establishment (which could be considered illegal in terms of the company’s internal policy, but not in terms of country law).

    Thanks again for your note and for restoring at least some faith in our students. ;)

  31. Sakhiwo

    Hi guys i’am looking for the job on this Company u can call me 078 636 8855 anytime i will be there please guys am very desperate for this job

  32. Riyaaz

    Hi I heard so much good things bout caltex I would love to work there please give me a call 0748233685 I have drivers licences forklift and clamp and nyk and lindie licence and I’m a verry good storman incase u need 1

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