- Published on 04 July 2014
- Written by The Zimbabwe Mail
It will take 100 years to repair the country's roads if government relies on funding from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) as it is collecting a mere $40 million annually, Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu said on Thursday.
Addressing journalists after a meeting with driving school operators in Bulawayo, Mpofu said he wanted to clear the air on the perception that Zinara was making a lot of money.
Zinara, as the country's road fund, is made up of various road-user charges which consist of Toll Fees, Vehicle Licence Fees, Loans and Grants, Abnormal Load Fees, Road Transit Fees and Fuel Levy.
"There is a perception that Zinara is collecting a lot of money, but this is not true because it is collecting at least $40 million annually which can only fix less than a 30 kilometre stretch of road. If we rely on the money gathered by Zinara, it will take more than 100 years to repair the country's roads," Mpofu said.
Mpofu said the government's introduction of urban toll gates was a step in the right direction.
"Road-users will contribute meaningfully to construction of upgraded infrastructure and if we look at the tolling fees charged in South Africa, they are way above what we are charging. They introduced electronic tolling and they have levies to develop their infrastructure and we will also go that route because it will benefit us if people stop politicising such issues," Mpofu said.
Mpofu said his ministry would do away with make-shift tollgates through the establishment of toll plazas on all the major roads.
Meanwhile the, minister also urged public transport operators to introduce metro buses as kombis were being phased out. Mpofu said this during a driving schools operators' meeting organized by the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe.
"We want to phase out Kombis because they are causing too many road fatalities and we believe if business people come forward to ensure the establishment of metro buses, it will solve the road accidents we have in the country. We also need to realise that irresponsible driving has led to road crashes, 95 % of which are a result of driver errors," he said.