Council in favour of urban tollgates – Sunday Mail

via Council in favour of urban tollgates Sunday, 27 October 2013  by Charlotte Muarurwa for Sunday Mail

Harare City Council has thrown its weight behind Government’s proposal to introduce urban tollgates, saying the facilities would help raise funds to improve road infrastructure.

In an interview last week, Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi said Town House representatives will soon meet Transport and Infrastructural Development Ministry officials to get a comprehensive picture of the initiative.

Dr Mahachi said the project would also help decongest the city.

“We welcome the urban tollgate idea. Hence, we are going to meet officials in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to enable us to understand the concept and see how we can make our input.

“We have to understand the concept first. It is quite an interesting project. In our view, we see it reducing traffic congestion in the city.”

Deputy Mayor Councillor Stewart Mutizwa said funds realised from the tollgates should ideally be used to improve infrastructure in the capital. He said the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) should not be allowed to collect the money.

“We think it is a good idea. However, the concept must be able to benefit local authorities. It is not a problem if the money is to develop our area.

“We were promised the same thing when the ministry took over vehicle licensing from council. They promised to improve the state of roads in the city, but the money we get from Zinara is not consistently disbursed.

“Zinara must honour their disbursement (obligations). If these tollgates are introduced, Zinara must not take over the money collected. For instance, all the motorists who use the Harare-Skyline tollgate will be heading to the capital, the hub of activity. However, nothing is being done to improve the state of roads.

“In the initial stages of any project, you agree, but there are problems: when the money comes, people tend to divert it to other purposes, thereby breaching agreements.”

Urban planning expert Mr Percy Toriro welcomed the proposal, saying it would help de-congest the city. He said authorities should also assess the initiative from different angles.

“I think we need to separate tolling and the current state of roads and strategise on how we can move forward. Without funding, the roads cannot improve. So tolling is good in creating funds for road maintenance. The vehicle population in Zimbabwe has increased tremendously over the decade, but the condition of roads has not improved. This means things will not improve if we do not do anything.”

Mr Toriro added that it was also important to ensure the proposed system does not cause further congestion during peak periods.  He said local authorities should take the opportunity to improve and invest in the mass transport system to promote the use of buses or trains.

“The best method in an urban set-up is e-tolling because you do not stop the vehicle. When it passes through a tollgate, it is recorded digitally and the bill is sent home at the end of the month. In an urban set-up, the method of tolling being proposed must not inconvenience the public at all.

That is very important. It is also important to know the objectives of urban tollgates.

“Local authorities must also invest in infrastructure to support the mass transport system. In developed countries, public transport is convenient such that driving a car is not a status symbol at all. One prefers a bus or train.”

Urban Transport Association of Zimbabwe secretary-general Mr Felix Mpofu said the Government and council should go straight ahead to introduce urban tollgates.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 9
  • comment-avatar
    vukani madoda 7 years ago

    Ithink we are trying to emulate things done in other countries without really giving much thought to what the aims are and what needs to be done first before these Tolls are even considered.If the aim is to decongest the Central Business District,then the location of these Toll gates must reflect that.Without a reliable alternative public transport network,this would be unreasonable and quite unfair to the ordinary man as these costs will simply be passed on to the poor commuters-it is serious form taxation.How about the idea to tax the rich more by setting differential tarrifs to reflect the impact that the toll charge will have on the poorer people.A reliable means of public transport,and the commuter omnibuses as they exist now couldn’t be credited with this appellation,would need to be in place so that people can feel quite safe to use such public transport.In addition there would have to be readily accessible ‘park and ride’ facilities where people can leave their cars outside the toll zones and board buses and other forms of public transport of acceptable standard.Above all, all the money must be collected directly by the local authority as the record of Zinara and their skewed distribution of toll funds in the past makes them the wrong agent to be trusted with collection of these funds and unfortunately the record of their new Minister doesn’t inspire much confidence either if his record with diamond revenues is anything to go by.Since when did Mahachi become Council-is this in fact the view of Council-if it is could they bother to find out from the people who elected them what their views are

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    potholes should be sold as mining opertunities

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    Jrr56 7 years ago

    What did Zimbabwe have before dirt tracks – Tarred roads that were paid for from tax’s. So the tax’s are now pocketed and new tolls created, are the roads really going to be renewed properly or is the idea to have a situation like Mozambique where they have the Chinese roads that have a maximum life of 3 years before they crumble and break. A new gravy train for those in charge.
    The roads were fine in 1980. All that was needs was proper maintenance and a plan to enlarge them with urban and rural growth in line with the expected increase in wealth of the population (more people will use cars). I presume the idea of being in government is to improve the lot of the populous?

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    Bruce 7 years ago

    There are other avenues to obtain funding but seriously to penelise the people for driving their cars to work is definately not a best option. life is already tough, and making it harder will not be best, mostly now, cause that will play in the hand of ZANU PF to actually start blaming MDC lead councils snce they are the ones controlling in Metros with the highest number of cars. MDC be warned, any move from ZANU PF that affects urbnites is to your disadvantage. Remember Mugabe said he want to sort out Bulawayo and Harare dwellers for not voting for him as if any one in rural voted him.

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    priceless 7 years ago

    Where is the Democracy??? People must have a say. Rather that Money must be used to upgrade health facilities, education, food security etc. Before we know it there will be urban street tolls by our gates just to milk all motorists. the bulk of the vehicle licenses and tax on fuel must cover maintenance of roads. Economic growth 1st – then your money milking schemes later

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    Chamunoda Nyamakate 7 years ago

    The solution of taxing people at every opportunity has been proved beyond doubt that it does not work especially when the taxed have no say on how exactly the money is going to be used. There are several levies and taxes that have been imposed on the worker but many workers have not benefited at all. For example, thousands of workers have to fork out their tight salaries to support HIV positive relatives but there is a huge AIDs levy fund being used to by ARVs for the elite and connected while the majority of workers and their relatives lanquish.

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    humbulani baloyi 7 years ago

    You do not start by tolling. You first build the roads then maintain the roads by tolling. thats how its done, look at south africa and rest of the world. you want to toll motorists for using pot holed roads, hey batho…..

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    This is primitive Zimbabwe and not advanced South Africa!

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    Their limitsoif suffocating the people with more taxes is f…king amazing. Tell me will Mugabe’s train of motorcade also pay or will and the fat cats go for free.