Victor Maphosa Herald Reporter
Government, through Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara), has set aside $1,1 billion towards the construction of standard tollgates across the country.
Long queues, moving at a snail’s pace are the order of the day, particularly on tollgates near big cities like Harare and Bulawayo.
The Norton, Eskbank and Lion’s Den tollgates, rank as probably the slowest where motorists spent considerable time in queues.
The Herald has observed that some officials delay issuing tickets for cash, resulting in impatient motorists leaving without collecting them, a move that might bring problems in reconciliation.
In an interview yesterday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joe Biggie Matiza, said Government was aware of the challenges at tollgates.
“To address congestion and improve on revenue collection, an amount of $1,1 billion has been set aside towards the construction of standard tollgates,” he said. “For the Norton tollgate, there will be construction of structures to accommodate the additional two lanes, back offices, lighting and installation of toll fees collection system.
“There will be a construction of a standard toll plaza at Esigodini, with six lanes and a similar one at Mupfurudzi in Mashonaland Central. Mushagashe will be upgraded to a standard toll plaza with six lanes.”
The Skyline tollgate along the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway will be relocated to a new site and will cover six lanes, while the Dema one will also be relocated and will cover four lanes.
Minister Matiza said Zinara was in the process of developing a voucher or coupon system, which will be sold to motorists beginning on December 18.
It will be made electronic in 2021.
The prepaid ticket or coupon system will be bought at selected Zinara and ZimPost outlets and tolling points.
“Motorists will tender the vouchers at tolling points, and this will offer an alternative to the challenges being experienced on other modes of payments that depend on network connectivity,” said Minister Matiza.
He said plans were underway to allow motorists with free funds to pay tollgate fees in foreign currency, thereby shortening the payment processing time and reducing queues.
On the Zinara pre-paid tolling card, Minister Matiza said the mandatory minimum balance on the card had been scrapped for the duration of the festive season to ensure motorists fully use all the funds in their cards.
Motorists using the Harare-Masvingo Highway, which is being upgraded, have been assured that the detours which are muddy, will be usable soon.