What most fuel consumers do not know is that when buying fuel, they pay at least 10 government levies in addition to the notorious National Petroleum Fund (NPF) that is currently in the negative.
Despite the NPF, which is levied on Batswana every time they buy fuel, there are 10 other levies that Batswana pay every time they buy fuel.
According to data gleaned from the fuel price slate at the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA), the levies amount to hundreds of millions of pula per month. For every litre of fuel bought, government collects around 120 thebe which is transferred to the Fuel Levy. It is not clear what the purpose of the Fuel Levy is. If government collects 120 thebe from each of the estimated 120 million litres that Batswana buy and use every month, it means the Fuel Levy collects a minimum of P134.4 million each month from them.
There is also the Road Levy, which was established to finance construction and maintenance of roads in Botswana. The levy collects 90 thebe from every litre sold. This means the Road Levy makes a cumulative estimate of P108 million every month. Then there is the MVA Levy, which is meant to finance the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund. The MVA Fund is a quasi-government institution responsible for rehabilitation and compensation of people involved in road crashes. The MVA Levy collects 9.5 thebe from every litre of fuel bought, which comes at least P11.4 million per month.
The infamous NPF Levy takes 13.5 thebe from every litre of fuel sold. Over P16.6 million is made from Batswana every month to maintain replenish the NPF. After the government established Botswana Oil Limited (BOL), a levy called Security of Supply Margin was set up to finance BOL. The levy collects 17.5 thebe per litre from fuel users, which amounts to P20.4 million each month.
BOL is a state company incorporated under the Companies Act. It is wholly owned by the Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. Its mandate is to ensure security and efficiency of supply of petroleum products for Botswana, manage state-owned strategic fuel reserve facilities, strategic stocks, bulk storage and distribution of petroleum products.
It also serves to assist emerging companies in the petroleum sector to participate meaningfully in the industry and also achieve fuel self-sufficiency and diversification of the economy. Yet another levy entity is the Depot Storage & Handling which deducts 8.6 thebe from every litre of fuel bought. This amounts to a minimum of P10.8 million every month. It was created to maintain fuel storage reserves and depot storage costs.
There is also the Road Delivery Levy that collects at 8.8 thebe per litre, which amounts to P10.8 million per month. Its purpose is to cover fuel road delivery costs. It does this alongside another levy called Railage (Gaborone Francistown). This one deducts 22.8 thebe per litre that amount to P27.3 million per month). It is paid to Botswana Railways for rail transportation costs from Gaborone to Francistown. There is another levy called Grid Differential. It deducts 4.6 thebe per litre, which adds up to P6 million. The tally of all known levies is well over P300 million per month.