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FUEL PRICES UP, PUBLIC TRANSPORT FARES HIKE LOOMS

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MBABANE – From today, motorists will pay more for their fuel. This comes after the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy announced that all fuel products will increase by 30 cents per litre and this was effective as of midnight.

The last time the country had a fuel hike was in February when motorists had to pay 80 cents extra per litre.


This will see motorists using the unleaded petrol (ULP 95) paying E12.10 per litre while those using lead replacement petrol (LRP 95) parting with E12.15 per litre. Diesel users will not be spared as they will also have to fork out E12 and E12.05 for diesel 500ppm sulphur and diesel 50ppm sulphur, respectively.


According to the press release, the increase was a result of higher crude oil prices experienced in September 2017, which averaged E759.64 (USD 55.65) per barrel compared to E707.09 (USD 51.8) per barrel in August, 2017. Another contributing factor in the hike is the weakening of Lilangeni against the Dollar, which traded at E13.33 in September and E13.26 in August.


This increase will see the country having the second highest fuel price among selected Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries including South Africa, Lesotho and Botswana. The hike is expected to affect the inflation rate as many commodities depend on fuel. “The public is urged to use fuel in a very efficient manner as international fuel prices remain uncertain,” reads the release.


The Chairperson of the Consumer Association, Mandla Ntshakala, opined that it was sad that fuel prices were not controlled in the country but affected by external or international factors. Ntshakala stated that consumers needed to accept the hike and find means to live with it.

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