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Fuel price relief for motorists

Bereng Mpaki

MOTORISTS are smiling all the way to the service stations after the Petroleum Fund slashed the prices of petrol and diesel by at least M1 per litre on Friday.

The new pump price for petrol93 is now M10, 65 per litre and this reflects a decrease of M1, 30.  The pump price of petrol95 has also been slashed by a massive M1, 35 and it now costs motorists M10, 75 per litre.

Both grades of diesel (Diesel50 and Diesel500) decreased by M1,15 and now cost M12, 15 per litre and M11, 85 per litre respectively. The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin decreased by M0, 85 and now costs M8, 30 per litre.

On 7 December 2018, the price of both grades of petrol decreased by a massive M2 per litre while the prices of both grades of diesel decreased by M1, 90 per litre.  The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin also decreased by M1, 55 per litre.

In a recent statement, Petroleum Fund representative, Chaka Nkofo, said the latest fuel price reductions were effected in the wake of a decrease in petroleum prices on the international markets.

Mr Nkofo also cautioned retailers against charging prices that were different from the official ones, saying doing so could result in prosecution.

“The Petroleum Fund appeals to retailers to charge proper prices as it is illegal to charge prices that are different from the gazetted ones,” he said, adding, “We (Petroleum Fund) issued a warning to retailers who charge prices that are above those that have been set as they will be prosecuted”.

The latest price reduction follows another huge decrease last month. Before then, motorists and other consumers had endured a series of price increases leading up to the recently ended festive season.

It remains to be seen if the fuel price reductions will lead to corresponding decreases in the prices of  goods and services which are often increased whenever fuel prices go up.

Last year, the cost of a boarding a 4+1 taxi went up to M8 from M6,50 with effect from 1 August 2018.

Taxi operators had demanded a fare hike to M15- a fee that would have made Lesotho’s taxi fares the highest in the Southern African region.

 

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