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President visits four essential service providers |18 April 2020

President visits four essential service providers

… PUC …

While authority steps up its measures through further restrictions on the movement of people in a bid to contain and slow down the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, President Danny Faure yesterday visited four essential service providers, bringing his support and words of encouragement to the members of staff.

Through his visits at the Seychelles Trading Company (STC), the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC), Seychelles Petroleum Company (Seypec) and the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), the head of state also had the chance to see the different measures put in place by the organisations to maintain their services during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the difficulties they are encountering, thus affecting their service delivery.

President Faure’s first stop was at the STC head office on Latanier Road where he was welcomed by chief executive Christine Joubert, along with the chairperson of the company’s board Guy Morel.

President Faure commended the STC staff for their remarkable work in successfully ensuring the country’s food safety through the good maintenance of stock which he said will earn them the confidence of the Seychellois people.

He also advised them to step up the good work, especially during the two coming weeks which he described as exceptional since a high number of consumers is expected.

President Faure’s second stop during yesterday’s visit was at the Seypec where he was welcomed by chief executive Conrad Benoiton, through whom he conveyed his appreciation and message of encouragement for all the Seypec staff who are working during the pandemic to ensure that the needs of the local consumers are met.

Mr Benoiton also explained that in about two weeks, the price of fuel will definitely go up, based on several factors linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other than the ongoing dispute between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia and then United States, the main factor which will create a rapid price swing in Seypec’s products is the exchange rates.

Mr Benoiton compared yesterday’s rate for US Dollars which was R17.50, compared to R14.25 in January. This, he said, represents an increase of nearly R1.30 on the price of fuel, including the transportation fee.

Mr Benoiton also explained that the present stock of fuel on the local market is being calculated based on the previous agreement with the providers, while the price of the new stock will all depend on the provider, based on the exchange rate on the day of payment.

For his third stop, President Faure headed to the PUC’s head office at the Electricity House at Roche Caïman where he was welcomed by board chairman Eddy Belle and chief executive Philippe Morin.

Lastly President Faure visited the SPTC depot on Latanier Road where board chairperson Andy Moncherry and chief executive Patrick Vel briefed him on the different measures taken by the company during the state of public health emergency declared on March 23.

Mr Vel noted that among the discussions with President Faure, one of the main topics was to maintain the culture of social distancing, especially after the current situation stabilises.

He added that with the current reduction in local economic activities, the company’s revenue has decreased by 25 percent.

As prevention measures, Mr Vel said SPTC will restructure the sitting arrangements in it buses to permit social distancing, while a complete overhaul of the existing schedule will be necessary to allow more buses on the road, especially during peak hours, while introducing a regional schedule to remove pressure on the normal route is also among the company’s immediate plans.

He also encouraged all those who are using public transport for other purposes other than work to avoid taking early, or peak hour’s buses to minimise the load.

Mr Vel also encouraged passengers to use card as much as possible instead of cash where possible to minimise risks of infections.

The accompanying photos show President Faure at the various places he visited yesterday.


Roland Duval

Photos by: Thomas Meriton

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