Mbabane: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy has urged EmaSwati to stop panic buying of petrol as supplies are available from the refineries where the country source fuel from.
In a ministerial statement issued by the Minister for Natural Resources and Energy Senator Peter Bhembe, the public was urged to only fill up their cars only there is a need, as panic buying also leads to depression of the fuel at the fuel service stations. Bhembe said the only challenge has been the transportation delays which had started to improve.
This comes after masses of motorists were seen queuing at all filling stations across the country to fuel their cars and some carried containers so to keep more fuel in case the stations run out of fuel.
Bhembe assured the nation that the oil industry confirmed that fuel shortage problem shall be rectified shortly, in the next 12 hours which is midnight. Bhembe said this problem would be rectified as the transport delays were starting to improve and fuel trucks had started coming through for deliveries in Eswatini.
Upon releasing the statement, Minister Bhembe confirmed that about 25 trucks for two (2) oil companies were coming through the boarders on Sunday. Three (3) other trucks, for another oil company, will be coming through on Monday.
Minister Bhembe said primary causes of the shortage were identified being; the congestion of loading zones at refineries at Durban due to an unforeseen and unfortunate incident where one of the refineries is none functional due to fire incident that occurred early December, 2020.
Another cause for the shortage was the covid-19 protocol delays at the border posts that all truck drivers as well as their vehicles need to adhere to. Bhembe added that the closing of the Clearing agents at Durban loading zones during Christmas and Boxing Day.
The closure of the Lavumisa Border on the South African side which has since been opened was also another cause fort the fuel shortage in the country. The boarder was closed purportedly because there were COVID-19 positive cases that were reported at the entry point.
However, a statement issued by Galp Eswatini a couple of days ago revealed a sequence of reasons that might have led to this predicament of shortage of petrol in the Kingdom. The oil company said the Regulatory Authority had recently introduced a quota for all if Galp’s imports from Mozambique and this is being enforced through a 5 percent reduction of volumes every month since August 2020.
On another note, the same Regulatory Authority further hiked non-SACU fuel import stamp duty significantly. This hike of 2500 percent is crippling to the operations of Galp Eswatini and other oil companies that import product from Mozambique. The stamp hike closed the option for supplies from Mozambique in the long-term and this placed the country to the current situation because the South African supplies somehow failed for one reason or the other.
Galp Eswatini revealed that their current suppliers of selected products in South Africa were currently unable to offer them rail loading due to congestion in their terminals. This made it impossible to build stock by sole reliance to road bridging.