MBABANE: Dorcas Dlamini, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy has announced that the prices of fuel has increased, a decision that has seen public transport operators calling for an increase in public transports fares.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, the situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted to massive job losses.
In a press statement released on the 7th April 2021, the Principal Secretary said the fuel hike will come into effect at midnight, Thursday 8th April 2021 adding that it was influenced by lower crude oil production from the members of OPEC.
“The Ministry cordially informs the public that the Petrol price will increase by E1.00/litre, Diesel price will increase by 80c/litre whilst illuminating Paraffin price will increase by 50cents/litre. In the month of March, the Brent Crude Oil prices increased to an average US$66.46 a barrel compared to an average of US$65.69 a barrel realized in the month of February 2020. The high oil prices are primarily a result of lower crude oil production from the members of OPEC,” reads the statement in part.
When reached for comments,Sabelo Dlamini, the Secretary General of the Eswatini Local Kombi Association said the public should brace themselves for a hike in public transport fares because of the way fuel has been increasing these days.
“This is a huge blow to the transport industry because a few months back, fuel prices were increased and we are still trying to cover the losses we made from that and the lockdown added salt to the wound as we did not do well in business. We request the Government to fix the issue of bus fares even though that will affect the public greatly, but there is no way we can survive if the bus fares do not increase. Bus fares will increase because not only fuel prices determine their increase, but also the increase of spares, cars prices and many more commodities,” said the Secretary General.
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