No going back on urban tollgates, says Mpofu

via No going back on urban tollgates, says Mpofu | The Herald June 16, 2015

Government will go ahead with plans to introduce tollgates in urban centres, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said yesterday.

The move, he said, was meant to raise funds to finance infrastructural development and decongest the city centres.

Dr Mpofu made the remarks after meeting a Malawian delegation that is in Zimbabwe on a study tour on the implementation of the tolling system and the use of graders in maintaining and improving the road network.

The delegation is led by the principal secretary for Transport and Public Works, Mr Moffat Chitimbe.

Dr Mpofu said urban tollgates would encourage people to drive into town only when its necessary.

“We are working on that and certainly when the time comes we will advise accordingly,” he said.

“We have many vehicles that are not supposed to be in town. We believe when we introduce these urban tolling measures, those that need to be in town will be in town and those who need not be in town will try to avoid those facilities.”

Dr Mpofu said consultations were ongoing between his Ministry and the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry with regards to the urban tollgates.

Although some people have expressed reservations with the plans, the urban tolling system has been successfully implemented in a couple of cities around the world, especially in Europe. In world cities such as London, Stockholm and Oslo, urban tolling led to the reduction of traffic, an optimised accessibility and a reduction of carbon emissions.

Dr Mpofu told the Malawian delegation that the trip was an opportunity for the two countries to synchronise their activities.

“It is not a learning trip but one to coordinate our activities,” he said.

“We have roads that lead to each other’s countries and they have to be done in a manner that is convenient to us all. Our system, which is simple, has attracted the region as a good model for generating funds for developing our roads. We also expect your views on how we are doing. It is something we are using but it is not 100 percent perfect and even acceptability by the public is a challenge.”

He said it was only through robust cooperation that the regional network could be improved.

All road users, he said, should play a role in the development of roads.

“We cannot be relying on the central fiscus to develop roads when in fact road users should be part of that development,” Dr Mpofu said.

“We do not want to tax our people when people who use roads will be the ones who will enjoy that comfort.”

Mr Chitimbe said they expected to learn a lot from the Zimbabwean tolling system which had been widely appreciated on the African continent.

“There are always potholes on the way and we want to know and avoid them,” he said.

“We want to learn as much and there will be a lot that we will take home as we work on introducing the tolling system.”

The delegation is expected to tour several projects implemented by Zimbabwe National Roads Administration.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • comment-avatar
    If Only 7 years ago

    These kind of things always fascinate me. In any normal nation where all the national coffers have NOT been looted there would be money to upkeep infrastructure. Mpofu says that road users should foot the bill for road upkeep. Will he please explain what all the licence fees, different taxes and so on are for??? Every Zimbabwean knows that all our money has been plundered and abused for 35 years and now to extort even more from an already over burdened nation. Zvakwana! These people do not deserve to be anywhere near the seat of power.

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    R Judd 7 years ago

    Tollgates certainly raise funds, which are then used to subsidise the Zanu lifestyle. No sign of meaningful money being spent on our roads

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    Mukanya 7 years ago

    “The move, he said, was meant to raise funds to finance personal ministerial looting infrastructural standing and pauperize the urbanites in the city centres.”

  • comment-avatar

    “No going back,” seems to be a standard ZANU-PF refrain. Basically, they are saying, “we don’t care what you think, whether it’s right or it’s wrong, it’s my way or the highway.” (Haha, pun! Something ZANU-PF does not understand.) Just like George Bush – very thick headed with no concern for the consiquences on others.

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    mandevu 7 years ago

    Yes, because it is your source of cash isnt it? Bunch of thieves

  • comment-avatar
    Fundani Moyo 7 years ago

    There is something wrong with a country which allows Ministers like Obert Mpofu to own parking lots at airports as their personal businesses, (instead of making them part of the “Port Authority” for road and airport maintenance) while making arbitrary decisions about tollgates without public consultation. Sounds like a clone of North Korea, if you ask me.

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    Chanisa 7 years ago

    The idea is noble. The implementer isn’t, like his predecessor before him. We have hear did his antics in Mat North. What does he propose for the National Railways, seeing that haulage trucks needlessly damage our roads?