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FUEL SHORTAGE AFFECTS ESSENTIAL GOVT SERVICES

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MANZINI – EmaSwati should brace themselves for lack of service delivery from government as its fiscal challenges seem to have taken a turn for the worst.


This is more so because well- placed sources within the administration have revealed that government was allegedly fast running out of fuel due to debts it had not settled  with certain suppliers.


As a result of the government fuel tanks, which were allegedly running empty at the Central Transport Administration (CTA), the source alleged that some government vehicles were already grounded.


The source alleged that if the situation persisted, it was highly likely that all government cars could soon be grounded, something which would affect essential services like the police, health sector, Fire and Emergency Services, among others.


Furthermore, the insider alleged that the shortage of fuel had been caused by government’s cash flow challenges which had been experienced by the country since the economical meltdown started some years ago.


It was also gathered, through the source, that officials from CTA had informed the Ministry of Public Works and Transport about the situation of the fuel reservoirs.
Sources from some of the government departments which provide essential services in the kingdom attested to the looming crisis.
They alleged that they’ve recently had to drive from Mbabane CTA down to Matsapha after being allegedly told that there was no fuel.


“It depends, sometimes we get to Matsapha only to be told that the reservoirs were also empty while sometimes they give a certain amount of fuel instead of filling the vehicle’s tanks to capacity,” the sources alleged.


Furthermore, the sources mentioned that government vehicles had days of refuelling at the CTA and made an example that on Fridays it was only vehicles from the Royal Eswatini Police Service that were allowed refuel.


Memorandum


They alleged vehicles from other government departments were only allowed to refuel if there was a memorandum provided.
On the same note, sources within the police service attested to the claims about the looming crisis.
They alleged that even if they were not serviced at the CTA, the vehicles did not go to refuel at any depot within the police stations in the country.


“In the fuel stations within the police stations, vehicles are only fuelled in designated stations on specific days, meaning a car could not just refuel in any filling station but only at the one authorised on that particular day(s).”


Again the sources said sometimes it happened that the filling station at Matsapha Police Academy only had petrol while diesel was available at Ngonini Operational Support Service Unit (OSSU) station.
They said vehicles which used petrol would go to Matsapha Police Academy while those using diesel would be fuelled at Ngonini OSSU.
Once those reserves run out of fuel, the sources alleged that others would be made available for the police cars. According to the sources, this was allegedly done to manage the scarce fuel.


Meanwhile, CTA directed questions to the principal secretary (PS)in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
When reached on his mobile phone, the PS, Makhosini Mndawe, said it was common cause that fuel would run short from time to time.
He said the fuel was delivered in a cycle by their suppliers and in some instances, it was possible that it had not reached the certain depots.

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