Saturday, 8 June 2019

GAS PRICES GO UP


RESIDENTS in urban areas who have turned to other sources of energy because of power outages are moaning the continuing rise of gas prices.

A survey by Sunday News revealed that gas costs US$1,60 or $11 to those still accepting the RTGS$ per kilogramme. BOC Gas managing director Mr Edson Padya said that LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) sales, despite the load-shedding, have remained depressed and this could be because of prices.

“We provide the product to all markets but we have not seen an increase in the demand of LPG. Sales have been average so far hence we reduced the volume of the gas and because it is procured in foreign currency, we pegged our prices in US dollars that is $1,40 per kg and the continuous price increase is due to the fluctuating local currency value. 

“LPG is a by-product that comes from refineries and its prices are controlled by the Ministry of Energy in South Africa. LPG prices fluctuate every first Wednesday of every month controlled by the maximum refinery gate price of LPG which has an impact in the pricing of every gas company in the every continent. We are not responsible for the pricing of retailers but can only recommend a price for them,” he said.

He added that demand tends to be high during the winter season as people use gas for domestic uses like heaters, cooking and breeding chickens.

A salesman at 9th Avenue Gases Mr Perfect Mhoya said demand has remained constrained because of the pricing.

“Like on every winter season, sales increase but we have not seen any change this year, maybe because of price. We reduced from $1,80 last year to $1,50 per kg because business is slow. Unlike before, people were used to the USD but now everyone wants to hang on to it and pay in the local currency that makes the prices unaffordable to citizens,” he said. 

The price of gas and continuous load-shedding has also seen firewood vendors cashing in although there are fears that rampant harvesting of firewood could lead to deforestation in surrounding areas. Cars carrying firewood have become a common feature along most roads that lead into the cities. Sunday News

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