Thousands of customers across the country have been left stranded with Pula Energy Gas cylinders that other gas dealers refuse to take due to the turbulence that the company is facing.
Pula Energy Gas says about 50 000 of their cylinders, which are blue in colour, are in the market.
The cylinders are temporarily of no use until Pula Energy resumes business sometime.
Since the beginning of this year, Pula Energy Gas customers were forced to buy the more common gas cylinders in place of the Pula cylinders, which they could not exchange on refilling since other dealers refused to take them, citing the uncertainity surrounding Pula Energy gas.
“It is true that my company has a problem of delivering gas to our customers throughout the country,” Kgang Kgang, Group General Manager of Pula Holdings, told The Sunday Standard. “That forced us to lay off most of our employees.”
Kgang said that when they hit the market a few years ago, they delivered close to 50 000 gas cylinders in the whole country at a cost of P8 million.
He said the uniqueness of the cylinders was the fact they have a safety valve as compared to the common ones.
He added that the problem started sometime in January this year when their supplier suddenly was unable to supply them with gas, forcing them to suspend the delivery of gas to their customers.
Kgang said since then the company took a decision to suspend deliveries.
“I can assure my customers that within a month, our business will be fully running, delivering gas across the country wherever we have our customers,” he said.
He conceded that they had received complaints from their customers to the effect that some dealers were refusing to take Pula gas cylinders.
He described this as unfortunate.
“It is very wrong that our competitors should refuse to exchange our cylinders with the common ones,” he emphasised.
He further said his company is in a position to compensate any consumer for the cylinder they bought because the cylinder belongs to the owner.
In random interviews in Gaborone, some customers told the Sunday Standard that they had to dig deeper into their pockets to buy the regular and more common cylinders, saying that a 19kg cylinder cost about P400, which they said is very expensive.