People living within 10km of a tollgate shall pay toll fees discounted by 10 percent following the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 5 of 2024, the Toll Roads (National Road Network) (Amendment) Regulations, 2024 (No 16), by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona last week.

Residents staying within 10km of a tollgate situated in an ordinary road and currently paying monthly toll fees of US$150 will enjoy a US$15 discount while those staying within a 10km radius of a toll gate on a premium road will be discounted US$20 of the US$200 monthly fee they are currently paying.

Qualifying persons for the discounts shall be issued with a residential discount exemption certificate.

“A holder of a residential discount exemption certificate shall only be entitled to a maximum of two passages per day on the certificate,” Minister Mhona said in the statement.

The two passages would generally be going to their place of work or business and then returning.

The new regulations also exempt vehicles belonging to members of the ZINARA Board for the duration of their appointment and any other institution or persons as may be approved by ZINARA provided that vehicles exempted under the provision shall not exceed two vehicles per such institution or person.

The discounts are with effect from the beginning of this month.

The premium routes are the east-west highway from Mutare to Plumtree, which includes the Harare-Bulawayo leg, and the Harare-Beitbridge highway.

Government doubled the toll fees on the premium routes from the beginning of this month in line with the 2024 National Budget statement presented by Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube last year.

Light motor vehicles are now paying US$4 up from US$2 on all premium routes, minibuses paying US$6 up from US$3, heavy vehicles paying US$10 up from US$5 and haulage trucks US$20 up from US$10. Drivers can pay in local currency at the prevailing rate of exchange. The minister also announced other measures in the SI.

For the purposes of enforcing collection of all required fees, an authorised person shall be permitted to deny passage through a tolling point to any vehicle that has an expired vehicle licence or does not have a valid vehicle licence in terms of the Vehicle Registration and Licensing Act.

“The Zimbabwe National Road Administration, as an authorised person is authorised to construct, repair and or renovate tolling infrastructure including the road approaches on all designated tolling points including any area within a radius of 1km of such tolling point.

“Any person who wilfully damages, defaces, or alters in anyway any tolling infrastructure shall be liable for its replacement cost as may be determined by the Road Fund. Any person who is involved in any accident that results in the damage of any tolling infrastructure shall be liable for the repair of such damage,” he said.

The Herald