Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Botswana to ration fuel amid shortage

epa06657760 Newly installed President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi after arriving in Harare, Zimbabwe, 09 April 2018. Masisi, who was sworn in on 01 April 2018 after taking over power from Ian Khama visits neighbouring countries to strengthen diplomatic relations. EPA-EFE/AARON UFUMELI

GABORONE, July 9 (Reuters) - Botswana will ration fuel from Thursday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced, in a bid to ease a crippling shortage that has seen some consumers rush to stock up.

Long queues formed in recent weeks at fuel stations in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, as some ran dry. The shortages have disrupted businesses and threaten to exacerbate the woes of an economy already expected to shrink 13% this year.

Mokgweetsi said in a televised address that sales will be limited to the value of 250 pula ($21.40) worth of fuel, though the limit would not apply to front-line workers and public transport operators.

“We have also started to import fuel through Namibia and Mozambique to complement supplies from South Africa, where there are disruptions in the transportation industry,” he said, adding the government did not want strategic reserves to fall to below five days’ supply, from eight days’ currently.

The southern African country, which consumes about 3.3 million litres a day, normally keeps reserves at 12 days’ supply.

It has lifted a lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus but its borders remain closed, with only essential imports allowed and truckers tested for the virus and quarantined before they enter. ($1 = 11.6822 pulas) (Reporting by Brian Benza; Editing by Emma Rumney and Toby Chopra)

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.