Tollgates traffic declines

Source: Tollgates traffic declines – DailyNews Live January 3, 2017

HARARE – The number of vehicles passing through tollgates has
significantly declined, as motorists increasingly opt for “lift clubs” in
an attempt to avoid toll fees, an operator with the road funds collection
facilities said.

Joseph Mafanuke, country operations manager of Intertoll – a company
contracted to manage nine of Zimbabwe’s 26 tollgates – made the
revelations recently while giving oral evidence to Parliament’s Transport
Portfolio Committee.

“…there has been a reduction in the number of vehicles passing through
our tollgates per day,” Mafanuke said, adding that “the issue may not be
how much (has gone down in revenue)” but the amount of traffic.

“We do yearly comparisons and we have noticed a reduction of traffic
compared to the previous years. And we subscribe that to the challenges in
the economy, particularly cash and therefore people start making lift
clubs and so forth so that they use one vehicle and save,” he said.

Under the lift club concept, people travelling to the same destination opt
to use one car rather than each one using their personal vehicle.

This not only saves on toll gate fees, but fuel costs also.

At the tollgates, private motorists are required to pay $2, haulage trucks
$10, buses $4 and heavy vehicles $5.

From Harare to Bulawayo – Zimbabwe’s second largest city – a small vehicle
is expected to pay $10, as the highway has five tollgates.

“We monitor our numbers every day, so if we see a reduction of 200
vehicles, we begin to worry,” Mafanuke said.

However, he could not be drawn into giving statistics.

“We collect on the whole route an average plus or minus $15 000 per
day…like I said the decrease is in number of vehicles. You discover that
the vehicle numbers may go down but the cash goes up because there will be
higher class vehicles passing through,” Mafanuke said.

He also said they hoped the introduction of a cashless transacting system
at tollgates will increase efficiency and reduce chances of fraud.

This comes as senior government officials are demanding special treatment
at tollgates, insisting they are not comfortable with the current scenario
of having their exemption certificates scanned before they pass through.

Instead, the officials want a Number Plate Recognition System (NPRS) which
scans their vehicle’s plate numbers as they approach the tollgate and
automatically lifts the boom gate to let them pass.

Bizarrely, they claim the current scenario is not only “time consuming”,
but exposes them to “security threats”.

“The main reason why we were pushing for the NPRS is that we were having
complains from politicians and senior government officials,” Mafanuke
said.

“(They were bemoaning) that they stop at the plaza and they end up
spending a lot of time and were not very comfortable security-wise with
the current system of scanning exemption certificates.

“They just want to come and pass with very minimum delay,” he said, adding
“that has been our main reason for pushing for the NPRS. If it comes it
can work in conjunction with the current system we are introducing.  The
system we recommended is a take and go system.”

Intertoll is yet to be given the green light by Zimbabwe National Roads
Administration (Zinara) to commence the issuance of prepaid cards at
tollgates under their ambit.

Univern Enterprises, which operates the other 17 tollgates, was in
September licensed by Zinara to introduce prepaid tolling cards.

As at December 17, 2016, the electronic prepaid cards had been purchased
by an estimated 6 000 customers while the prepaid amount to Zinara stood
at $248 000.

Tollgates were introduced in August 2009 in a bid to raise funds to
construct and maintain Zimbabwe’s worn out roads, but seven years later,
the key infrastructure remains in a sorry state.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar

    Members of Parliament SERVE the PEOPLE. Since when did the SERVANT taker the MASTERS money and buy a car?
    Zimbabweans you are being robbed so blatantly that you can’t believe its happening, its like the thief stealing in broad daylight assured that no one will believe he’s stealing because it is in broad daylight.

  • comment-avatar
    Kevin 5 years ago

    The answer to your question is ever since they started paying politicians decades before you were born. Your naivety suggests that you are fairly young.

  • comment-avatar
    Bingo waJakata 5 years ago

    The situation is only to get worse once the Kazungula bridge opens. Trucks from the DRC, Zambia and Malawi will most likely opt to use the Kazungula bridge to access South Africa via Botswana. The journey may be longer in distance but potential shorter in turnaround time compared to travelling through Zimbabwe. There are also other advantages of avoiding Zimbabwe and l list some below:
    1. Border post clearance takes days and hence costs a lot in wasted time
    2. The Beitbridge to Chirundu road is a death trap
    3. Police road blocks litter the road causing unneccesary delays and expenses (They have to find fault so as to fine and collect daily targets). Its nothing to do with safety but raising revenue for the police and state.

  • comment-avatar
    Mazano Rewayi 5 years ago

    If I may digress. Those who lead must be affected by the decisions they make. I humbly submit that all politicians pay toll fees and be stopped at every road block. If I get my wish then they also should be treated at rural clinics and be referred to Harare Hospital. Their children should attend the schools in their constituencies, and yeh, living in Epworth, Mbare, Southlea Park or any of the Hlalan Kuhle/Garikayi compounds will be good too. Wishful thinking of cause!