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PRESSURE TO EFFECT FUEL HIKE MOUNTS

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MBABANE – Businesses and individual motorists should be ready for a fuel hike in the next few weeks, following pressure from South Africa who announced an expected hike last night.

This is due to the international oil prices that have continued to trade at higher levels than the previous months. The South African government announced that today the country would be experiencing a hike in fuel. According to the reports, the price of petrol would increase by R2.03, which means that a litre of petrol will be now R26.90. This got a number of emaSwati expressing their worry on social media, stating that this hike would also happen in the country.

According to them, this was because in most cases when South Africa announced a hike in fuel, the Government of Eswatini would soon announce same in the country. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy Communications Officer, Sikelela Khoza, stated that a hike in fuel prices in South Africa did not influence the fuel prices in the kingdom. According to Khoza, the increase and decrease of fuel prices in the country did not depend on South Africa.

Adjustments

“Firstly, allow me to clarify that the ministry does not adjust fuel prices in response to price adjustments in South Africa  and further to that the ministry always conducts monthly fuel price reviews, which give direction on whether a price adjustment is necessary or not. “The nation will be informed if there is a likelihood of an adjustment in the normal way of a press release,” he said. Khoza’s comment attracted a number of views from the public. Mluleki Simelane stated that for the past three fuel hikes, South Africa would announce and then right after followed the Government of Eswatini. He said the hike in fuel prices was concerning as the salaries had still not been reviewed. “It is better in South Africa as while their fuel prices increase, their government also tries to meet them halfway in giving them an increase in salaries. With is we have been having these hikes while our salaries have been on standstill. Basically we are working to afford fuel which would last us for half the month and a few expenses,” he said. Siboniso Shabangu expressed his disappointment in the Government of Eswatini.

Increments

“We can hardly afford our cars now because of these fuel hikes. We really would be happy if at least they would consider having to review salary increments. The standard of living in the kingdom has without a doubt increased while the basic salary has not been reviewed,” he said. Nkosephayo Dlamini agreed with Shabangu. She expressed that   it was frustrating for her to think that the fuel prices may increase. She said this was because she was with the knowledge that as South Africa had a hike in their prices, Eswatini would too. The last fuel hike in the kingdom was in June 2, 2022. Unleaded Petrol (ULP 95) price increased from E19.05/litre to E21.55/litre; the Diesel (0.005  per cent) price increased from E19.60 litre to E22.10/litre; and paraffin price increased from E14.35/litre to E16.85/litre.

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