Botswana: Fuel Shortage Requires Discipline

Bobonong — Motorists have been implored to exercise self-management and discipline in the face of fuel shortages sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the COVID-19 task team, dikgosi, councillors, social workers and Village Development Committee members in Bobonong yesterday, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane encouraged motorists to purchase only the amount of fuel they needed and not to hang around filling stations.

He discouraged bulk buying of fuel where some people used jerrycans to augment their supplies while others even ventured into illegal sale of fuel to the desperate.

"You have been informed about the dangers of using jerrycans," Mr Tsogwane said.

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought about challenges which had culminated in shortage of fuel among other things, the vice president assured the nation that the state would pass.

On food relief, Mr Tsogwane reiterated that there would be no phase two of the programme explaining that those impoverished by the pandemic would have to register and be assessed for the destitute programme.

Mr Tsogwane said food relief was extended to people during lockdown when they were confined to their homes.

He said government was faced with shortage of funds owing to over-expenditure on food relief packages experienced by some councils.

The numbers of people who needed food relief during the extreme social distancing period stretched the budget for various councils, he said.

Mr Tsogwane said currently government was seized with devising measures to address the over-expenditures in question.

On other COVID-19 related issues, the vice president called on Batswana to commit to strict adherence to health and safety protocols.

"If not careful, Botswana may reach the figures that other countries are grappling with currently," he warned.

He said relaxation of some state of emergency regulations was not a license to misbehave as some people had been spotted crowding and partying.

Mr Tsogwane said some big economies that were currently overwhelmed by COVID-19 and therefore appealed to Batswana to do all in their might to prevent local transmissions.

For his part, presidential affairs, governance and public administration assistant minister, Mr Dumezweni Mthimkhulu revealed that out of the P2 119 000 000 accumulated in the COVID-19 relief fund, only P635 million remained.

P2 billion was government contribution while P119 million was contributions from companies, organisations and individuals.

Mr Mthimkhulu said about P217 million was spent on personal protective equipment, about P790 million on wage subsidy, P350 million on food relief, P56.3 million on education and about P9.1 million on Batswana in the diaspora.

Due to the depletion of funds, amplified precautionary measures were necessary, he said.BOPA

Source : BOPA

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