Gaborone — President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced that Botswana would introduce fuel rationing from Thursday 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, and other centres as some ran dry. The shortages have disrupted businesses and threaten to worsen the woes of an economy already expected to shrink 13% in 2020.
Mokgweetsi said in a televised address that sales will be limited to the value of P250 worth of fuel, though the limit would not apply to frontline workers and public transport operators.
“We have also started to import fuel through Namibia and Mozambique to complement supplies from SA, 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' now.
Truck drivers went on strike in SA in protest against the employment of foreign drivers in the road freight and logistics industry.
The 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.
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