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8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees
Transporters have noted the many benefits of using Botswana as a transit instead of Zimbabwe. It is a well known fact that Zimbabwe borders are slow and congested, there are many tolls we pay (for no service), numerous road blocks (harrassment of drivers and lack of adherence to SADC appreciation of the Soveriegnty of Foreign COF's), high fuel costs and failing road infrastructure. The completion of the Kazungulu Bridge is a much anticipated event that will give transporters access to an efficient and cost effective transit to Zambia.
On the 11th November 2016, Zambia issued SI 85 of 2016, The Tolls Act in which the Second Schedule Section A and B outlines Entry Tolls for COMESA/SADC and other Countries. Botswana was not included under SADC and awarded tolls higher than other SADC States. On the 1st May 2017, Botswana retaliated by issuing an Amendment of the Road Traffic and Road Transport (Permits) regulations, 2017. Under this Amendment, tolls were increased and in turn, Zambian Transporters handed a hefty penalty. The result is that as a Zambian Transporter our Transit Fees through Botswana increased by 70%.
This makes the Botswana route unattractive and given the congestion at Kazungulu, we have had to run through Zimbabwe again. We are delayed here by congestion, delays in ZIMRA electronic sealing processes and run the gauntlet as described above.
Surely the whole idea of building the Kazungula Bridge is to improve the flow of traffic through Botswana and create economic advantage? With the increase in the tolls in a tit for tat manner, building the bridge is a waste of time.
Could the member States please meet and look at treating each other in the spirit encouraged by SADC.
- Progress update note
On 11 January 2019, Zambia Focal Point reported that the two parties (Zambia and Botswana) are undertaking consultations on the matter in order to resolve the issue
- Policy or regulatory NTB
Zambia: Ministry of Trade (Government institution)
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