GOVERNMENT vehicles will soon be required to pay licence and toll fees amid reports that thousands of drivers were evading paying the statutory fees, an official said yesterday.
Report by Victoria Mtomba
There are close to 10 000 government-owned vehicles throughout the country.
Licence fees range from $5 to $75 per quarter depending on the vehicle tax class.
Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure yesterday, Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) chief executive officer Frank Chitukutuku said the licences would control the number of drivers claiming to be driving government vehicles passing through toll gates without paying anything.
Under the current systems drivers of State vehicles are required to produce a log book to gain free passage at toll gates.
“Government vehicles are going to be licensed like any other vehicles and the toll gate will open on its own if the car is on the system,” Chitukutuku said.
“The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development is still working on the issue.
“I don’t know when this will start, but (it will be) as soon as they finish the consultations that are currently underway.”
He said through the computerised system a vehicle will only be allowed to pass through a toll gate if it is recognised by the system.
Chitukutuku said the road administrator lost $2 million in 2012 from the 2010 figure of $18 million from transit fees collected from foreign registered vehicles.
“We have observed that there is a drop in transit fees,” he said.
“We are seeing that there is a problem at the border on collecting fees.
“Most foreign vehicles do not stop at tollgates.”
He said to address the problem, Zinara would, through the computerised system, monitor all trucks moving into the country.
Turning to road development, Chitukutuku said Zinara would receive a $147 million loan from the Development Bank of South Africa for the dualisation of the Norton-Kadoma Road this year.
The loan follows the release of $206 million for the rehabilitation of the Plumtree-Mutare-Harare highway.
Zinara expects to collect $90 million in revenue this year due to the improvement in the collection system, from the $84 million it collected last year.
Out of the $84 million, $26,5 million was generated from licence fees while $23 million, $17,8 million and $16 million were for fuel levy, toll and transit fees respectively.
Abnormal load fees and overload fees contributed $650 000 and $950 000 respectively.