Govt raised over US$30M from toll gates in last six months

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Government raised over US$30 million dollars in the last six months from the toll gates fitted on selected roads in Zambia.

Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister, Yamfwa Mukanga says the money was raised through a pilot project involving seven toll gates erected on weigh-bridges.

Only trucks passing through the seven weigh-bridges are currently being levied.

Mr.Mukanga said Government has now seen great potential for raising more financing with which to carry out more sustainable maintenance of existing roads as well as those that are being constructed.

He says the pilot project will now be roll-out to other roads and even put up actual toll-gates instead of using weigh bridges to collect these toll fees.

The Minister was speaking when he made a presentation at the 2014 Africa Ports and Harbours Show at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The show is a platform on which countries speak about their investment potential to prospective investors.

Mr. Mukanga told the gathering that Government was targeting to divert transportation of all heavy cargo from the road onto the railway network by 2016. 

He said it is in this vain that Government repossessed Zambia Railways from the concessionaire, Railway Systems of Zambia, because it wanted to prevent further damage to the road network as well as improve the railway system which had suffered deterioration due to lack of re-investment.

He said the railway network in Zambia had deteriorated to levels where trains could not move at more than 20 kilometres per hour.

The Minister said Zambia was committed to regional growth and economic integration through an efficient, cost effective and fully integrated transport infrastructure that adequately meets the needs of the region.

Mr Mukanga said road projects such as the Link Zambia 8000 as well as the railway lines being constructed were part of the vision of linking Zambia to other countries. 

This is according to a statement issued by First Secretary for Press at the Zambian High Commission to South Africa Nicky Shabolyo.

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