Botswana fuel crisis deepens

news-image

Mpho Tebele

Gaborone - After nearly three weeks of fuel shortages, Botswana is working on sourcing fuel from Namibia and Mozambique.

Botswana has historically sourced fuel through South Africa, but delays at the border because of COVID-19 testing has created a bottleneck. The situation could be exacerbated by a nascent strike by truck drivers in South Africa who allege haulage companies in that country are sidelining them in favour of hiring foreigners.

Botswana’s Secretary for Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Mmetla Masire cautioned the public to use fuel sparingly while the government and other stakeholders worked to resolve the supply mismatch.

“In addition to sourcing fuel from South Africa, the government and oil marketing companies (OMCs) also continue to source fuel from alternative routes of Namibia and Mozambique,” said Masire.

More than 90 percent of Botswana’s fuel comes from OMCs. Botswana Oil Limited, the government’s actor in the oil sector, imports limited volumes for strategic stocks, as well as some commercial stocks based on orders from oil companies.

The government, said Masire, had released 30,8 million litres of combined strategic and commercial stocks for use during the crisis.

“However, the demand still exceeds the supply. Panic buying is a major contributor to the rapid depletion of fuel at the filling stations.  It is on this note that members of the public are advised against stockpiling fuel as this is worsening the fuel shortage in the country,” said Masire.  

He said the prevalent use of jerrycans had promoted hoarding in addition to creating a fire risk as people were not stocking fuel safely.

“We are concerned that the country is consuming almost double the normal usage because of this hoarding,” added Masire.

He illicit trading of fuel would result in prosecutions as per Section 34 of the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority Act.

Minister of Transport and Communications Thulagano Segokgo said should Botswana fail to access fuel from South Africa because of the strike and related xenophobic attacks, the country would explore rail options as well as getting supplies from Mozambique via Zimbabwe.

“In addition, we receive fuel from Namibia by road,” he said.

Minister Segokgo said should the strikes and attacks continue in South Africa, the matter could be escalated to the SADC Cross Border Regulatory Forum.

“The procedure is if the forum is unable to resolve the issue, it is escalated to SADC ministers. The forum is chaired by South Africa and its membership is from all SADC member states,” said Minister Segokgo.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Comments

image

Poachers have broken into Botswana’s p Read more...

10 Aug, 2018 at 01:58 PM

image

In a sign that Botswana is likely to cli Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 09:26 AM

image

Gaborone - Poachers have broken into Bot Read more...

04 Feb, 2019 at 07:35 AM

image

DAR ES SALAAM - DIRECTIVES on online for Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 01:24 PM

image

SADC leaders meeting in Tanzania this we Read more...

19 Aug, 2019 at 01:51 PM

image

Windhoek – Namibia’s government says Read more...

02 Aug, 2020 at 07:35 PM

image

The continent’s bastion of political s Read more...

31 Jul, 2020 at 03:38 PM

image

The SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Read more...

31 Jul, 2020 at 03:34 PM

image

Windhoek – Southern Africa’s overall Read more...

31 Jul, 2020 at 03:29 PM

image

Gaborone – Botswana Defence Forces (BD Read more...

31 Jul, 2020 at 03:24 PM

image

Lusaka - Amid myriad criticisms from soc Read more...

14 Dec, 2018 at 06:28 AM

image

FORMER Liberation Movements (FLMs) in So Read more...

16 Sep, 2019 at 12:36 PM

image

Heads of state and ministers who travell Read more...

30 Jul, 2018 at 02:01 PM

image

Windhoek - The European Union National I Read more...

01 Apr, 2019 at 12:33 PM

image

Windhoek - More than 1 000 languages are Read more...

27 May, 2019 at 12:44 AM