MOTORISTS have described the government’s decision to hike tollgate fees by 100% as burdensome to poverty stricken commuters who rely on public transport on a daily basis.
The Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry announced a 100% toll fee increase that would see small cars paying $2 up from $1, while haulage trucks would pay $10 from the previous $5. Kombis would pay $3 up from $2, buses $4 from $3 while other trucks would be required to pay $5 up from $4.
“It’s a grave mistake because the move will affect the entire transport industry in terms of pricing,” said Albert Sibanda, national chairperson of the Professional Drivers’ Association.
“Companies are struggling to pay workers and so where will people get money from? The economy is static, hence I see no justification in the increase of tollgate fees. The state of major roads has not changed much since the introduction of toll fees.
“They should improve road infrastructure first before hiking toll fees.
“For example, nothing has been done about rural roads. The hike of toll fees will only benefit those who use the money,” he said.
Sibanda said many people had perished on the country’s roads in accidents mainly caused by poor road infrastructure.
Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Cross-border Drivers’ Association, Archbald Mujeni, echoed similar sentiments.
“The government should first improve roads before hiking toll fees like what was done in South Africa,” Mujeni said.
They said the hike would result in an increase in transport costs that would be passed on to passengers.