GABORONE, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Botswana released short and long-term guidelines Thursday to address fuel shortages ravaging the southern African country.
The solutions include reducing the operating hours of fuel stations from 24 hours to 12 hours and rationing fuel sales, President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced.
"Each car will fuel at a maximum cost of 250 pula (25 U.S. dollars) only with immediate effect until the situation normalizes," Masisi said when addressing the nation in a live broadcast.
According to Masisi, purchasing fuel using jerry cans will be restricted to Thursdays only and people can't purchase petrol with drums or very large containers.
"If people do not comply with these regulations, the government will have no choice but to take further stringent measures to bring about stability to the supply and demand of fuel in the country," he said.
Furthermore, Botswana is actively looking for additional importation routes particularly in Namibia and Mozambique to help meet the local demand for fuel to counter the ongoing strike by some South African truck drivers, he said.
However, the restrictions do not apply to emergency and public transport vehicles. He also urged individual motorists to give priority at fuel stations to frontline workers during the battle against COVID-19.
The fuel shortages have disrupted businesses and could exacerbate economic contraction this year, when the government said real gross domestic product could fall by 13 percent.
Botswana consumes 3 million litres of fuel per day and government officials say they normally keep 12 days of supply in the strategic reserves. Enditem