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Masire Disappointed As Shortage Persists

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
FUELING A CRISIS: Motorists queue up to fuel their vehicles
The fuel crisis has entered its second week without a solution in sight, despite earlier assurances that supplies will normalise.

Snaking queues and dry pumps have become the order of the day amidst fears the crisis is set to hit its peak in the coming days.

A truck drivers’ strike is looming in South Africa, a major supplier of Botswana’s fuel. Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security permanent secretary, Mmetla Masire expressed his disappointment after the fuel situation did not normalise as he had promised last week Saturday.

He argues, panic buying is behind the crisis and promised they would do more to deal with the situation.

The government released six million litres from strategic reserves on Monday, with the hope the situation would normalise, but queues have remained the order of the day. “We are disappointed but not surprised that the situation has not normalised because many truck

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drivers are still quarantined. Another problem is the issue of the anticipated truckers’ strike in South Africa, which leads to people panic buying as they do not know what will happen next week. We had thought the six million litres we gave the private market would normalise the situation,” he said.

Masire admitted the looming strike by South African truckers tomorrow (Tuesday), could worsen the situation. He said Botswana has to look at other sources of supply.

“We are hoping to get more petroleum from Namibia and Mozambique as we have already started. We will also be sending trucks to fetch for our strategic reserves to fill them up and be able to share with the private market and that will give us 10 days of petrol,” he said.



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