• Benefits of reduction in Fuel Pump Prices should trickle down to public passengers.
• RTSA to take its position quickly in Bus fare consultations.
• CRAZ is not seeing the urgency it has been expecting from RTSA to call for a consultative meeting.
Six days has elapsed from the time Energy Regulation Board((ERB) announced reductions in fuel Pump prices for the Month of September 2022 in Zambia and almost to zero changes have been made to players in the value chain so that benefits are passed on to consumers.
The reduction in Fuel pump prices comes on a background when Zambians have been looking towards a new dawn reduction or solution in the cost of living above K9000 as measured by Jesuite Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) for a family of five in Lusaka.
Key among the beneficiaries of Fuel Price reductions announced by ERB in the Oil value chain, is the Mobility or Transport sector. Commuter Rights Association of Zambia (CRAZ) is responsible with playing an advocacy role for rights of passengers in the country.
In an interview with Money FM News, CRAZ maintained that benefits of reduction in Fuel Pump Prices by Energy Regulation Board (ERB) should trickle down to public passengers.
However there seemed to have been delays from the authority and stakeholders to deliberate on new bus fares of which CRAZ President Aaron Kamuti said the Association anticipated that Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) would call for a meeting soon to guide on the next decision on bus fares.
“Our Position is very clear, we are coming from that background where we had just seen the adjustment of bus fares and this is the second time we are seeing another adjustment on the pump fuel price so definitely the benefits should trickle down to the travelling public,” he indicated.
Mr. Kamuti appealed to RTSA to take its position quickly in Bus fare consultations regardless of whom the situation favors between bus operators and consumers.
According to Mr. Kamuti, if the favour in adjustment of fuel pump prices “went to the operator’s side we would have seen the reduction in the bus fares,” indicating that it cannot only be Public Service Vehicle operators benefiting from reductions in fuel pump prices.
Mr. Kamuti complained that CRAZ was not seeing the urgency it had been expecting from RTSA to call for a consultative meeting following reduction in Fuel Pump prices.
“So I think the meeting should come as soon as possible, “added Mr. Kamuti as he raised expectations for the consultative meeting with Stakeholder in the transport sector.
He however assured that reduction in Bus fares for the month of September are coming following the development in Fuel pump prices, “in whatever way small or big.”
In August 2022, Bus fare announcements delayed for almost half a month of which the first reduction announced by RTSA of K5 and K7 depending on the routes selected was never welcomed by Bus Operators, later after a further consultative meeting the reduction was settled to K2 minim for urban routes.
For the Month of September 2022, Energy Regulations Board (ERB) adjusted downwards pump prices of petroleum products for September 2022, by K1.65 per liter for Petrol, K1.75 ngwee per liter for diesel and K1.72 ngwee per liter for Kerosene.
Decision making by most stakeholders have been at a low pace regardless of the reductions that have been supported by appreciation of the Zambian Kwacha against major convertible currencies and reduced oil prices on the international commodity market.
Zambians who have continued to pay August bus fares in September when fuel pump prices were much higher for transport operators than the price being purchased at, are looking at these economic fundamentals influencing reduction in prices of fuel to translate into cheaper cost of doing business, transportation and living.