Motorists took a swipe at government for using unorthodox means to raise cash by introducing desperate measures forcing motorists to acquire new number plates.
The issue of replacing old number plates has raised a storm in the last few days following the lapsing of the December 31 deadline with motorists attacking government for its stance.
The NewsDay website was yesterday inundated by readers who demanded to know how government had come up with the figure of $160.
“We know the government is looking for sources of income, but this is a rip-off,” said Martin Whitehead. “It is these kinds of laws that make criminals out of innocent citizens. Licence plates should cost no more than $20. It’s insane to charge licence plate about the monthly salary of most civil servants. The same goes for passports.”
Secretary for Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Partson Mbiriri is on record insisting there would be no extension of the deadline.
“All motorists should comply. Those who do not comply risk having their vehicles impounded and we will have to enforce that,” Mbiriri said.
Said another motorist identified as Dr Watson: “The assumption that motorists have money is obvious. If plates for a car cost $160 and a trailer $140, the only difference is one plate instead of two. Do they not think we cannot calculate the actual cost of a plate is therefore $20? Then why the high cost? Surely (this is) just a fund raiser?
“After all this is their requirement not ours, so it should be free or at least just the cost of the plates. Soon there will be the fire extinguisher, jacket, triangles etc. What next – a national colour for all vehicles to be re-sprayed. Who owns the companies providing these? If this madness is not stopped, soon we will all be pedestrians. In Zimbabwe cars are a necessity, not a luxury.”
Shepherd Sithole said $160 was excessive.
“This is a Zanu PF law put in place to fleece people of their hard-earned cash,” said Sithole.
“Any laws enacted after 2000 are illegitimate because the Parliament which enacted them was disputed. The Smith regime had laws, apartheid SA had laws but they were not just. Most people who have changed over had no option because they wanted to effect change of ownership and the imported cars had to use the new plates.”
Alloy Kay said: “The answer to the question ‘how did they come with up with the figure $160’ is simple. Who owns the machine that makes number plates? You will find out that minister X who underpays his/her workers owns it! There is your answer.”
Another reader who identified him/herself as an observer said the government should mention who had been given the tender to manufacture the contentious number plates.
“Can the government provide information to the public as to who is manufacturing and providing the new number plates? Is it a private individual/company?”asked the reader.