Like the rest of the world, Batswana are struggling with unprecedented fuel hikes which have skyrocketed to record highs, triggered by COVID and exacerbated by Russia’s war against the Ukraine. BUPELO MOALOSI unpacks the true cost of filling your tank in 2022.

Since the beginning of this year alone, petrol prices have increased by 37% while diesel has increased by 44%. Going back one year to June 2021, petrol prices have increased by 80% and diesel has increased by 87%. If we go back two years to June 2020, which was the last time there was a decrease in the fuel prices, petrol has gone up a whopping 124% and diesel has gone up 125%.Fuel Price Increases Since June 2020

What do these percentages really mean in a language that the everyday Motswana can understand? We have gone from paying around P7.70 per litre of petrol in June 2020 to now paying well over P17 per litre. Diesel has gone up from just under P7 per litre to now being just under P18 per litre. The graphs below show the increase in fuel prices since June 2020 to date.
The recurring price increases are adding up and having an impact on our wallets as we are constantly increasing what we have to allocate towards fuel. Let’s put this in perspective. Using an average hatchback with a 40 litre tank, a sedan with a 60 litre tank and a van with a 80 litre tank, this is how much the cost of a full tank from empty has changed over the past 2 years.
The average motorist who lives in Gaborone and drives to and from work an average of 5 times a week and runs typical errands such as school runs and shopping, will most likely use the equivalent of 2 full tanks of fuel in a month.

If you drive a hatchback…

In June 2020, hatchback owners needed P614 per month for 2 full tanks. Today, they need P1,374 per month for their transport needs. Basically, in just 2 years, a hatchback owner needs an additional P760 per month just to move around.

If you drive a sedan…

For the sedan drivers, in June 2020, they needed P922 per month to fill up twice a month. Today, that same driver needs

P2,060 a month to drive to work and run the same errands. That is an extra P1,138 they need every single month.

If you drive a van…

Fuel expenses for petrol vans (80-litre) are double the hatchback (40-litre) expenses in both 2020 and now. Most vans, however run on diesel. A diesel-run van driver would have spent P1,276 per month to fill up their tanks twice in a month. Today, that same van guzzles up P2,868 of its owners’ budget every month, demanding an extra P1,592 monthly just to keep moving.
With the pandemic having slowed down the economy, most employees have not had a salary increase in the past 2 years that would negate the fuel price increase. Consumers that were already stretched before the pandemic have to dig even deeper to pay more than double what they paid on fuel just 2 years ago. For most, this means foregoing other goods and services or plunging into debt just to keep afloat.
Individual fuel consumption depends on the type of vehicle and its fuel efficiency, and the distances driven in an average month. The above are based on a Honda fit that consumes 5.5 litres/100km for the hatchback, Toyota Corolla that consumes 6.5 litres/100km for the sedan and Ford Ranger that consumes 8.2 litres/100km for the van. All consumption figures are manufacturer stated figures. While your vehicle may not match up to these exact figures, it gives one an idea of how much they are parting with towards fuel on a monthly basis.
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