11 December 2014, uba — South Sudan’s petroleum and mining minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau, said recent fuel supply issues in the country are not the government’s responsibility.
Speaking to reporters at the ministry headquarters in the capital, Juba, on Wednesday, Dhieu said vessels importing fuel to the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa had been delayed for 10 days.
“This is the problem that we all face in the region, not in South Sudan alone,” he added.
South Sudanese transport operators have increased fares within Juba and neighbouring towns after petrol ran dry, forcing motorists to buy from the black market.
Fuel suppliers claim the government is not issuing them with the Letter of Credit required by traders to access US dollars to to import items abroad.
Howeverm Dau dismissed the claims, saying the government is not to blame for the current situation.
Although South Sudan produces crude oil, it lacks refinery facilities and thus relies on imports of fuel from neighbouring countries.
Juba was also hit with acute fuel shortages in October, paralysing transport and resulting in long queues at fuel stations across the capital.
There is an emerging trend in Juba of so-called ‘black market fuel’, sold at higher prices, with officials describing the practice as unacceptable.
The uncertainty of fuel supplies often leads to panic buying, with motirists buying in bulk and stockpiling additional supplies.
The ministry has previously discouraged the practice.