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Haulage trucks face tight restrictions

by Staff reporter
17 Mar 2021 at 11:07hrs | Views
THE government plans to get tough on haulage trucks and limit the amount of cargo being freighted on local roads, redirecting it to be ferried by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).

New Transport minister Felix Mhona said the move would help resuscitate NRZ's fortunes and at the same time decongest local roads that have been declared a national disaster.

This comes as most of the damage to national roads has been attributed to the huge amount of cargo being ferried by haulage trucks.

"As I take the office, there are a number of issues to be addressed, especially on the state of our roads.  

"One of the solutions that my ministry is working on is calling on involved parties to participate in decongesting our roads. We can do this by moving heavy cargo from the road to rail.

"This will go a long way to also reboost cargo for NRZ which was not spared by this lockdown.

"As we know that our roads have been declared a state of disaster, it is important to decongest them and make sure we don't cause more damage," Mhona told reporters after touring the NRZ headquarters and facilities here on Friday.

At the moment, haulage trucks are not permitted on certain public roads and especially in the central business districts of most major towns.

However, trucking companies and their drivers regularly ignore this regulation and enter restricted road networks.

"If you observe closely, you will see that there are heavy goods trucks that, despite being prohibited from passing through certain areas, continue to do so.  

"As we move towards decongesting roads these offenders shall be brought to book. This will definitely bring sanity to our roads," he said.

Mhona said citizens should complement the government in its effort to resuscitate roads as Treasury is "incapacitated to do so on its own".

"The government has no money. My ministry is not the only one feeding from the bowl so there is need for Zimbabweans to complement the government and comply with rules and regulations so that we maintain our roads and avoid demanding money from the treasury because it is incapacitated," he said.

Mhona said from his tour he learnt that there is much that is needed to ensure the NRZ regains its past glory.

"There is the issue of locomotives and boosting cargo, which the board briefed me on and it really needs attention," he said.

During its peak, NRZ was one of the biggest parastatals and was a key economic enabler by offering competitive fares and a reliable service for local industry and passengers.

However, due to corruption, mismanagement and government interference, NRZ is now on its knees and desperate for new investment.

Source - dailynews
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