Government suspends road fees’ hike
After a public outcry, the government yesterday suspended new penalties and fees the Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) was planning to introduce on Monday next week.
Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jappie Mhango, said on Thursday that the government has made the decision following an outcry from stakeholders.
The statement follows an announcement made by the DRTSS that it has hiked fees for road traffic offences.
DRTSS acting Director, Fergus Gondwe, announced this week that the department decided to hike the fees to reduce cases of road accidents.
However, Mhango said the decision has been suspended after thoroughly consulting stakeholders.
“The ministry had a meeting with transporters and other stakeholders and we resolved that the decision to hike fees; on road offences should be suspended until we evaluate it thoroughly. You know people cannot come forward to meet and discuss matters like increase of road fees, so, we deliberately hiked before consultation so that when they react, we can now sit and discuss,” Mhango said.
The hiked fees did not please several quarters of the society including the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (Moam).
Moam General Secretary, Coaxley Kamange, welcomed the suspension.
He said the suspension is what the association wanted because there was supposed to be consultation in the first place before implementation.
“We are happy. This means the government has heard our concerns. We have another meeting on September 20 to map the way forward,” Kamange said.
During a press briefing Gondwe held in Lilongwe on Wednesday, he said the directorate is aware that many motorists are used to carrying money as they travel to be used for paying small fines imposed on them as they commit the offences.
He said that the directorate believed that hiking fines was going to reduce the number of accidents and increase compliance by motorists.
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