As the saying goes, desperate time calls for desperate measures. The Department of Minerals Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe calls for South Africa to consider importing crude oil from Russia.
Mr Mantashe’s suggestion is part of his move to curb the rising fuel prices which have soared since the beginning of the war invasion in Ukraine by Russia. While speaking at the parliamentary debate recently, Mantashe said: “We should consider importing crude oil from Russia at a low price because it is not sanctioned.”
The United States and the European Union have announced sanctions on Russian oil imports, prompting many oil importers to shun trade with Moscow and pushing spot prices for Russian crude to record discounts against other grades.
While the US and EU sanctions do not formally prohibit consumers outside their jurisdictions from buying Russian oil, and South Africa’s fellow members of the BRICS group of emerging nations India and China have snapped up cheap Russian oil.
South Africa has close historical ties to Moscow due to the Soviet Union’s support for the anti-apartheid struggle.