NEWLY gazetted doubled toll fees come into effect today on premium routes in line with the 2024 National Budget statement presented by Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.
Zinara announced yesterday that the gazetted fees come into effect today with light motor vehicles paying US$4 up from US$2 on all premium routes, minibuses paying US$6 up from US$3, heavy vehicles paying US$10 up from US$5 and haulage trucks US$20 up from US$10.
Drivers can pay in local currency at the prevailing rate of exchange and in the notice Zinara said the fees would be light motor vehicles $24 800, minibuses $37 200 and heavy vehicles $49 600.
The premium routes are the east-west highway from Mutare to Plumtree, which includes the Harare-Bulawayo leg, and the Harare-Beitbridge highway.
Other stretches of the national highway network can be added. These highways have been upgraded in recent years and the Government is largely dependent on toll fees to upgrade and maintain the national highway network.
Since the coming in of the Second Republic, road rehabilitation has been prioritised, with President Mnangagwa declaring the country’s road network a State of Disaster in February 2021, as most roads had become untrafficable.
Pursuant to that, Government set aside $336 billion for the second phase of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP2) and US$400 million was set aside for the first phase.
These efforts have also seen the rehabilitation of the premium routes whose toll fees have been reviewed.
Motorists had mixed feelings over the review of the toll fees, with Mr Arnold Mathema, saying: “We welcome the move to review the fees with broken hearts because they are out of reach for ordinary citizens although we know that could be the way out to save our roads.
“We appreciate the work that has been done on our highways, our local roads keep deteriorating and we hope that Zinara will allocate funds to fix roads in our residential areas as well so that we continue paying the high fees knowing we are going to benefit.”