Engen Lesotho (Pty) Limited told the government this week that it will block its vehicles from fueling if the government does not pay its debt totaling over M20 million.
“Following our virtual meeting on the 4th of August, we indicated that the government account, overall, is overdue, and without the due payments, we would be forced to block the vehicles from refueling,” Tebogo Mosehla, managing director of Engen said in a letter to Ministry of Finance’s Principal Secretary (PS), Nthoateng Lebona.
The letter does not specify how long the government has been in debt.
“In good faith, we have delayed this action in anticipation of the payments, however, we have not seen much improvement. As of today, the past due amount is LSL20 796 067,” Mosehla added.
He made Lebona aware that Engen will block all overdue accounts as from Thursday, August 25, 2022, and will only unblock once the overdue amounts have been paid.
“We take stock that the contract expires on 31 August 2022 and as indicated in our meeting, we are not able to discuss any extension of the contract while we have overdue amounts on some of the accounts. We hope that the payments can be arranged as soon as possible to avoid disturbing operations,” Mosehla concluded.
He confirmed the authenticity of the letter to this publication last night.
“The government has a debt it has not paid and this is not the first time this happens,” Mosehla said but refused to disclose how long the government has been owing Engen.
“Other questions will be answered by the Finance PS,” Mosehla said.
When reached for comment last night, Lebona’s phone rang unanswered.
This is not the first time that the government owes Engen.
In May this year, government cars ran out of fuel due to delayed payment. In 2019, ministers and PSs reportedly used their money to fuel their official vehicles.