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Tollgate fees hiked again

by Staff reporter
30 Jan 2021 at 05:56hrs | Views
MOTORISTS, with effect from today, can pay tollgate fees in foreign currency as the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has introduced a dual pricing system and hiked toll fees.

The new system came to effect at midnight as Zinara implemented Statutory Instrument (SI) 32 of 2021. According to SI 32 of 2021 light vehicles will pay US$2, minibuses US$3, buses US$4, heavy vehicles US$5 and haulage trucks US$10.

Prior to the latest tollgate fees increase, a light motor vehicle driver was paying $120, minibuses $180, buses $240, heavy vehicles $300 and $590 for haulage trucks and forex was not accepted at tollgates.

The SI read that toll fees for foreign registered vehicles shall be in United States Dollars, or equivalent in other foreign currencies, using the above rates.

In local currency, light vehicles will be charged $164, minibuses $246, buses $328, heavy vehicles $410 while haulage trucks are charged $820.

This means that a light vehicle motorist travelling from Bulawayo to Harare will pay US$10 in foreign currency or $820 in local currency for the five tollgates between the two cities while a bus driver travelling the same route will pay US$20 or $1640.

On the other hand, a light vehicle motorist travelling from Bulawayo to Beitbridge will part with US$6 or $492 for three tollgates between the two cities while a heavy vehicle motorist will part with $15 or $1 230.

The charges are in line with the country's 2021 national budget presented by the Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube last year. Presenting the national budget Prof Ncube said Zinara would this year be allowed to collect toll fees in foreign currency so that it can service its foreign debt.

"Such foreign currency resources would enhance Zinara's capacity to pay external debts. I, therefore, propose that toll fees be payable in foreign or local currencies at the Foreign Currency Auction Rate," said Prof Ncube.

Zinara spokesperson Mr Tendai Mugabe yesterday confirmed the new tariff schedule saying it is in line with Government efforts to improve the country's road networks.

"We are calling it dual pricing where we are going to accept both foreign currency and Zim-dollar. It is effective today (yesterday) midnight. That is when we are going to change our systems at the tollgates, starting from midnight people will be paying local currency and foreign currency," said Mr Mugabe.

"In our view as Zinara, I think this is a very positive move considering that the Government has put road development at the heart of national development. So, we believe that the new toll tariffs are going to have a huge impact on the disbursements that we are providing to road authorities."

He said the funds that will be collected should enable road authorities to improve road networks under the jurisdictions. Most of the country's roads are in a bad state and the rain being experienced has worsened the situation. Both highways and roads in various cities have become pothole littered.

Motorists have challenged road authorities to fix the roads which have become death traps and an inconvenience for even pedestrians who in some areas are forced to walk long distances just to find transport.

Source - chronicle