Government vehicles have for the past two months been grounded because of fuel shortage at the Central Transport Organisation (CTO).

Government departments throughout the country have been forced to park their vehicles and allow their drivers to pass time with a game of cards during working hours since November 2013 due to an apparent fuel shortage.

A driver stationed at Kasane alerted The Voice that most drivers in that area could not perform their duties because of lack of fuel.

“We come to work to play cards, CTO does not have fuel.

We are not told what is wrong and we can only guess that its either the government does not have money to buy fuel or someone failed to buy sufficient fuel on time,” said the driver.

By Wednesday this week reports from Kgalagadi, Maun, Central district, and Sebele deports indicated that CTO had insufficient fuel supplies.

Responding to the allegations that government officials have been often forced to find their own transport for official duties, CTO Principal Public Relations Officer Pricilla Simula said, “Of course from November 2013, there were reports of shortage of fuel.

Even last week there was a shortage of fuel but the situation is being normalized.”
Simula further noted that various government departments misuse fuel.

“There are no control measures as to how a certain department can use fuel.

Other departments like the police use more fuel than others because their department usage is automatically higher because of the nature of their job,” she said.

Simula however could not provide an audit of how the government used fuel in the last 12 months and neither was she able to explain why the fuel ran out at CTO.

“We don’t have an audit of how the government uses fuel and neither can I give you the figure to indicate how much we spend on fuel,” she said, adding that it was difficult both to monitor fuel usage and to curb abuse and misuse.

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