Eswatini has enough fuel supply to cope with SA protests

The Ngwenya Border between Eswatini and South Africa.

By Khulile Thwala

As sporadic protests continue in South Africa in what has been called a national shutdown, the government of Eswatini says there is enough fuel supply to last a week.

Government Spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo on Monday assured emaSwati that there will be no fuel shortage despite the ongoing protests in South Africa.

He says the government has received assurance from fuel retailers locally that they had enough fuel to last a week.

Nxumalo said the government, through the Ministry of Finance, provided permits to retailers to purchase fuel from Mozambique as an alternative in the event they could not do so in SA.

The government spokesperson further urged the public to refrain from travelling to South Africa until the situation stabilises. He said it would be advisable for emaSwati to not travel as the government continued to assess the situation.

Read More: Transnet strike: Acute shortage of basic commodities including food and fuel to hit Eswatini

Nxumalo said for those who were obligated to travel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was in constant communication with the Eswatini Embassy to SA to establish details on the situation on the ground.

“The South African government has ensured security in all spheres, instituting arrests on violence perpetrators if need be. However, we do not know the capacity of security provided in the nine provinces,” stated Nxumalo.

He said because of the uncertainty surrounding the safety provided, emaSwati should refrain from travelling to the neighbouring country on Monday.

Meanwhile, Economist Sanele Sibiya says the country’s cross-border businesses would feel the pinch the most. He said if the situation in SA escalated, export products amounting to close to E15. million would be stationary at the country’s border gates with SA.

Close to 87 people have been arrested in SA so far following the shutdown in protest over load-shedding and calls for SA president Cyril Ramaphosa to resign.

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