More anguish as tollgate fees go up
Hard-pressed motorists will have to dig deeper into their depleted pockets for toll fees, after the Government announced today that it is increasing the tollgate fees at the country’s highways.
Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Joel Biggie Matiza, has advised that a new structure of higher tollgate fees will be announced soon after the weekend.
Speaking at the sidelines of the ongoing Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo, Matiza said the increase in toll fees has been necessitated by the erosion of the RTGS dollar.
“At RTGS$2 for a light motor vehicle, toll fees in Zimbabwe are no longer economic. We shall raise them during the first week of May in line with the way the RTGS dollar has depreciated in value since Government abandoned the 1:1 ratio between the bond note and the US dollar,” Matiza told ZOOMZimbabwe.
He however could not be drawn into giving the new toll fees, saying the final decision will be arrived at in the next few days.
“The toll fees are definitely going up next week; at RTGS$2 they are unsustainable as they are even lower than the price of a loaf of bread,” he said.
Light vehicle motorists are currently paying $2 while minibuses and buses pay $3 and $4 respectively. Drivers of haulage trucks are required to pay $10 to pass through tollgates.
Zimbabwe already has 26 tollgates along major highways, situated between 15 to 20km from major cities and towns. Government introduced tollgates in 2009 and has to date collected around $500 million from them.
Matiza also said that apart from the depreciating RTGS dollar, which has lost over 50% of its value since the floating of the exchange rate in February, other attendant costs such as fuel, road-making materials, labour and related costs have gone up.
Meanwhile, the pump price of petrol has come down by 9 cents after government revised its duties and increased the amount of ethanol in petrol from 5% to 10%.
The changes follow a notice in the Extraordinary Government Gazette published this week.
See the attached documents below: