Fuel price to go up

Fuel price to go up

MASERU – Motorists in Lesotho should brace themselves for a fresh round of increases in fuel prices next Wednesday.
The South African Department of Energy yesterday announced that the price of petrol will go up by up to 72 cents per litre while diesel will go up by 65 cents per litre.

The retail price of liquefied petroleum gas will go up by a maximum of 39 cents per kilogram.  However, illuminating paraffin costs are expected to go down by six cents per litre.  Lesotho’s Minister of Energy Mokoto Hloaele said the Petroleum Fund, which regulates the prices of fuel, is yet to meet to discuss any adjustments.  “We will only know the percentage or amount of the hike after the delegated agency meets and evaluates the situation and advise us on how to proceed,” Hloaele said.

He said since the price of petroleum products are subsidised in Lesotho this will require the Petroleum Fund to meet first to discuss the new prices so that they are not too heavy for consumers. Thabang Monese, an adviser of the Maseru Regional Taxi Operators (MRTO), said the hike is going to be a blow to the industry which is already struggling to make a profit.

He said buying fuel is already a challenge for most taxi operators due to lack of adequate revenue.
“The transport industry is treated like it does not matter even though it is an industry that hires a lot of people,” Monese said.
“It might be the second biggest employer after textile factories but our grievances are taken for granted,” he said.
He said they are already expecting massive losses.

“In South Africa taxi fares are increased way before petrol hikes because they are aware that the transport industry plays a huge role in a lot of lives and economy,” Monese said.  He said in Lesotho their grievances are not attended to with the urgency they deserve.

Lemohang Rakotsoane

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