Tollgate fees up by 100pc

HARARE - The cash strapped Zanu PF-led government yesterday increased tollgate fees by a whopping 100 percent — in a move that is likely to have ripple effects on prices of basic commodities as well as transport fares.

According to the latest Government Gazette published yesterday, Obert Mpofu, minister of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, in terms of Section 6 of the Road Motor Transportation Act, increased toll gates fees with immediate effect.

Light motor-vehicles fee went up by 100 percent to $2, while kombis and minibuses will fork out $3 up from $2.

It means, for instance, a motorist will have to fork out $16 to drive from Harare to Bulawayo and back, while a minibus will pay $24 for the same journey.

Buses will now pay $4 in tollgate fees up from $3. This means that public transport fees will increase.

Heavy vehicles fees went up from $4 to $5.

The biggest increase margin was for haulage trucks which was hit with a 100 percent increase to $10 or 100 Rands.

But the government move is likely to further punish motorists and an already hard pressed population — the majority of whom are living on less than a dollar a day.

Mpofu’s warning early last month that tollgate fees go up to enable government to maintain roads, was greeted by anger and derision nationwide, with some groups such as the Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights (ZLHR) threatening to drag the government to court to stop the envisaged hike.

The former Mines minister said the increase in toll fees had the backing of Cabinet as government sought to “roll out its road rehabilitation and infrastructure development.”

Although most of the country’s roads are in a state of disrepair, tollgate collection has been dogged by controversy, with speculation rife that money collected is not going towards road maintenance.

As government seeks to increase revenue inflows into its dry coffers in the wake of a deepening economic crisis, there are fears that the money collected from tollgates could be diverted to other sectors.

In February this year, Mpofu ordered Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) to submit daily reports of tollgates collections and vehicle licensing fees, so that he monitors the system.

The country has 22 tollgates and has mooted introducing more in urban areas to decongest cities, in particular Harare.

In developed nations, tollgate fees have helped decongest cities such as London — where the public use other models of transport.

But in Zimbabwe, the public is wary that the introduction of tollgates could result in abuse of the toll fees collections.

Tollgates were introduced in 2009 and they were administered by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).

However, in October last year, government announced that Zinara has taken over the manning of the toll plazas and revenue rose by almost 100 percent early this year.
Statistics indicate that a total of $7 612 183 was collected between October and December 2013.

In October 2013, Zinara collected $2 330 943 compared to $1 613  941 41 in October 2012.

The latest hike is likely to see government doubling the amount of money it collects monthly.

Comments (5)

Nontee problema

ROAD USERS - 5 July 2014

Touraiwa

machakachaka - 6 July 2014

kukavhira gap remuchato wabona

Harare - 6 July 2014

Increasing tollgate fees is inflationary because everything to do with transport will cost more. This is coming at the back of a fuel price increase caused by the setting of minimum prices for fuel. However the general public has not received any meaningful salary increase so this amounts to extortion of the little they have. Or is this a way to extract foreign currency from the public in anticipation of the Zim dollar return?

musepi - 8 July 2014

actually the current situation does not warrant any further increase in the tooling fees as seen by the situation of the economy which is subdued as a result of liquidity crunch as well as deflationery pressures.on the economic side there has not been any movement in cashflow upwards as evidenced by the circular flow of funds model.remember the same tax payers are the civil servants whose salaries have not been adjusted in either of the ways.other fiscal measures could have been implemented but not the above cited action as it tends to distract spending of households.

shepherd mufandaidza - 23 September 2014

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