Motorists in the border town of Beitbridge on Thursday survived on illegal fuel vendors whose business was brisk.
By Own Correspondent
Enterprising fuel vendors camped near service stations to capture disappointed motorists who had been turned away due to the unavailability of the precious liquid.
Seven out of the 10 service stations in the border town were only dispensing diesel.
“We have been having erratic supplies, but as from the end of last week our petrol supplies were exhausted,” a worker at one of the service stations said.
Rob Elliot, who runs Border Service Station, said he last had delivery on Sunday and had since exhausted the 18 000 litres supplied.
“I understand other service stations ran out earlier than me. There were queues here until our fuel ran out mid-morning,” he said.
He said procuring fuel from his supplier was difficult because money disbursed through point-of-sale machines did not reflect timeously in his bank account resulting in transfers to suppliers being delayed.
“It takes a long time for the money to reflect and that has disrupted our supplies,” he said.
Fuel shortages affected local motorists and those collecting their cars bought from Japanese vehicle suppliers on the South African side of the border.
The shortage is likely to harm the tourist industry, which is already battling a number of impediments that include negative country image and heavy police presence on major highways.