AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

Miners cry foul over toll fees hike

Local News
Blessing Togarepi

ARTISANAL miners say they are feeling the brunt of the increase in toll fees that might affect the gold output as they cannot meet exorbitant charges.

The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) increased tollgate fees in response to Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s 2024 budget.

The increase that was effected from January 5.

In an interview with NewsDay Weekender, Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners Association president Blessing Togarepi appealed to the government to grant local miners discounted passage at tollgates in their localities.

“While we applaud government efforts to improve the conditions of service for small scale miners, we feel toll fees have become a burden for miners who do not have mills and leaching facilities at their premises,” he said.

“It is no doubt that small-scale miners are the biggest producers of gold in the country, but this is going to be disturbed by this increase in toll fees because miners are at the receiving end.”

Motorists using prime roads, namely Harare-Beitbridge and Plumtree-Mutare highways are paying US$4 for light motor vehicles up from US$2, while minibuses are paying US$6 from US$3, buses US$8 from US$4, heavy vehicles US$10 from US$5, and haulage trucks US$20 from US$10.

Motorists living close to the tollgates now pay US$80 from the previous US$40 per term on premium roads.Motorists using other roads now pay US$3 from US$2 for light motor vehicles, minibuses (US$5), conventional buses (US$6), heavy vehicles (US$8), haulage trucks (US$15) while those staying within the tollgate area will pay US$60 per term.

Togarepi said miners who do not have mills and leaching plants are forced to pass through a tollgate to nearby mills and leaching plants.

“The toll fee for a tipper has doubled, but the price of the bullion has not changed. So, this shortchanges our miners. We appeal to the government to grant local miners exemption permits so they pay a discounted fee. Imagine they have large quantities of either ore or dump, how much money will they pay in fees?” quizzed Togarepi.

“The price indexes are affecting our miners. Look at how prices for basic commodities have shot to the roof. It has increased the burden to our miners who rely heavily on basic stuff for survival at the mine. They need to be cushioned somehow, by reducing the cost of living.”

Zimbabweans have raised concern over the continued ballooning of prices and the weakening of the local currency which has rendered it almost useless against the greenback.This is despite assurances by Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya that they have put in place measures to stabilise the local currency.

Related Topics