Saturday, 30 January 2021

ZINARA Hikes Tollgate Fees, Introduces Foreign Currency Payments

 Motorists travelling on the country’s highways will now have to fork out extra monies after the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) hiked tollgate fees.

ZINARA also introduced a dual pricing system whereby motorists will have an option to pay for toll fees in either local or foreign currency.

According to statutory Instrument (SI), 32 of 2021 that came into effect at midnight light vehicles will now pay US$2, minibuses US$3, buses US$4, heavy vehicles US$5 while haulage trucks will be required to pay US$10.

Previously tollgate fees were only pegged in local currency, light motor vehicles paid $120, minibuses $180, buses $240, heavy vehicles $300 and $590 for haulage trucks.

The new toll fees will be denominated in US dollars and converted into the local currency at auction rates for those who wish to pay using local currency, swipe cards and mobile money.

However, all foreign-registered vehicles shall pay for toll fees in forex only.

This means at the prevailing auction exchange rate light vehicles will pay US dollar equivalent of $164, minibuses $246, buses $328, heavy vehicles $410 while haulage trucks are charged $820.

In his 2021 nation budget, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Prof Mthuli Ncube said Zinara would be permitted to collect toll fees in forex.

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, he said.

Zinara spokesperson Mr Tendai Mugabe yesterday told The Herald, that the dual pricing system was in tandem with the government’s vision to improve the state of roads in the counrty.

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.

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.

While Norton Member of Parliament and former ZANU PF provincial chairperson Hon. Temba Mliswa blasted the government and ZINARA for imposing their will on the people without consultations.

The relevant Parly Committee should look into this sudden ZINARA tariff hike. We are not cattle that you push into the dip at your will and whim.

Just waking up and announcing new charges without any consultation is wrong. Let’s have respect for people and pre-plan these things, he wrote on Twitter

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