MOTORISTS will breathe a sigh of relief after the Petroleum Fund slashed the prices of fuel on Friday.
The petroleum prices regulator announced that the pump price of petrol93 grade decreased by 55 lisente while petrol95 grade decreased by 60 lisente.
The prices of the two grades of diesel and paraffin decreased by 50 lisente.
These adjustments mean the new retail price of petrol93 is M9.50 per litre and petrol95 is M9.65 per litre. Diesel500 now costs M9.60 per litre, while the wholesale price of domestic paraffin is M6.45 per litre.
This month’s fuel adjustment comes in the wake of a similar decrease last month.
The Petroleum Fund noted that the slashing of the prices had been mainly caused by the strong South African rand — which is tied one-to-one to the loti — against the US dollar. Fuel prices hikes in South Africa usually have a knock-on effect on Lesotho due to the Mountain Kingdom’s economic dependence on its only neighbour.
“The main reason for the deceases has been appreciation of the rand (to which loti is tied) against the US dollar, which has resulted in these products experiencing unit slate over-recoveries.”
The Petroleum Fund also appealed to retailers to charge the stipulated prices, stating that it was illegal to charge prices different from the gazette ones.
“There have been tendencies in the past by some retailers of charging prices that are above those set, this should not happen, and any retailer who will be found in contravention of this, shall be prosecuted accordingly,” the regulator said in a statement.
A toll free number: 80022004 can be called by members of the public to report any non-compliance by retailers.
The declining fuel prices should be welcomed by the majority of Lesotho’s poor households who rely on paraffin for their energy needs.
The price slash is also expected to have a ripple effect on retail prices of goods in supermarkets.
The transport and agricultural sectors are also expected to welcome the relief on their fuel bills.