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South Africans are watching the energy crisis fade in their rear-view mirrors.

As a nation that produces no oil, and one constantly threatened with international boycotts for its racial policies, South Africa views motor fuel as a strategic commodity. But that government attitude now chafes motorists, who see no reason for low speed limits and short hours at gasoline stations.

With grudging agreement that gasoline is amply available, stations recently were allowed to stay open longer hours. The national auto association has gone further, urging that the speed limit on freeway be raised from 62 miles per hour to 75 m.p.h.

As the group sees it, the major constraint on wasting fuel will remain: Gasoline costs about $2.37 per gallon.

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