By Blessings Mpinganjira:
Finance Minister Felix Mlusu has said the Treasury expects to be collecting K9 billion in road use levy from the Chingeni and Kalinyeke tollgates in Balaka and Dedza districts, respectively.
Mlusu was speaking on Monday when he toured the two facilities.
Mlusu said the Chingeni Toll Plaza is expected to be opened between now and December.
According to Mlusu, the two facilities are expected to cost Capital Hill K4.8 billion.
“The idea is to raise revenue resources to maintain our roads so that people can enjoy good roads,” Mlusu said.
Roads Fund Administration Board Chairperson Mathews Chikankheni said major works at Chingeni Toll Plaza were completed and they have since hired qualified IT personnel, ruling out the possibility of corruption when it starts operating.
Chikankheni added that works at Kalinyeke Tollgate have been delayed because of a high water table at the project site.
The government is financing the two projects through the Roads Fund Administration and the Roads Authority is supervising the works.
Introduction of toll fees is part of revenue source diversification following the growing needs of road construction and maintenance-financing demand.
Recently, the government gazetted and released toll fees that vehicles passing through the Blantyre-Lilongwe M1 Road would be paying at the toll gates, with some road users describing the fees as exorbitant.
The list of the toll fees shows that light vehicles will be paying K1,700 while minibuses will be parting ways with K3,400, with trucks carrying abnormal loads paying K20,000 for a one-way trip.
That is not all. 17 to 31-seater buses and two to five-tonne trucks would be paying K5,100 while those between 5 to 10 tonnes would be coughing K7,000, with K8,000 applying to trucks weighing more than 10 tonnes.
According to communication made on June 24 2021, by Mlusu, but released on August 6 2021, there would be a discount on frequent users and local users.
For frequent users, the discount is 75 percent, applicable at the 11th passage at the toll gate and 20 percent for local users who reside within a radius of 10 kilometres from the tollgate.