The fuel shortage which a major threat to the economy has also disrupted businesses. It is already expected that the economy could shrink by 13% this year.

In recent weeks there are long queues at fuel stations in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, as some ran dry.

In a televised address President Mokgweetsi said that sales will be limited to the value of $21.40 worth of fuel. The limit would not apply to front-line workers and public transport operators.

“We have also started to import fuel through Namibia and Mozambique to complement supplies from South Africa, where there are disruptions in the transportation industry.”

He added that the government did not want strategic reserves to fall to below five days’ supply, from eight days’ currently.

Botswana consumes about 3.3 million litres a day and normally keeps reserves at 12 days’ supply.

It recently lifted a lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the borders remain closed allowing only essential imports allowed and truckers tested for the virus and quarantined before they enter.