By Tione Andsen
Malawi Road Administration Fund (RAF) has been challenged to consider installing toll gates within its road networks in order to broaden revenue generation capacity for the fund.
The Challenge was made Tuesday by Chairperson of African Road maintenance funds ASSCOITIOAN (ARMFA) Southern Africa focal Group, Engineer, Wallece Mumba during the opening of the Association’s meeting at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima.
He said installation of toll gates would provide another avenue for generating from fund to run road administration fund apart from depending solely on fuel levy and road taxes.
Mumba who is also Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Zambia Road Administration Fund said his country has implemented the road toll project and the fruits deprived from it have contributed positively to the improvements of road networks.
“We rolled out in November 1, 2013 by installing toll gates in all our borders and in 2016, we installed inland toll gates within our road networks. Motorists are at certain point need to pay something in order for them to pass through,” he explained.
The CEO added that Zambia realized that demands for road maintenance in the country was very high but there were only limited options for funds generation and they considered the introduction of road tolling as a means.
Mumba viewed that road tolling was one of the sustainable way of financing the road maintenance, rehabilitation and construction in any country which help to improve regional integration.
He said countries need to financial their own road networks although the financing part is always critical and crucial and the better way of doing it is install toll gates.
“Our funding by using toll gates in Zambia has improve to 24 per cent and this has enable an opportunity to access US$ 300,000 from pension funds to finance some road projects in the country,” the Chairperson revealed.
He said it looks like it is only Malawi that has not implemented the toll gate initiative within the region.
Mumba urged all stakeholders to support Malawi RAF in their quest to implementing road tolling project in the country.
Board Chairperson for RAF, Chancy Gondwe admitted that the installation of toll gates in the country at advanced stage.
He said designs have been done, the site was identified at Chingeni in Ntcheu and communities where the toll plaza would be constructed were informed and compensated.
“Even during the budget presentation in Parliament, the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development tabled the issues and now we are waiting for implementation of the project,” Gondwe pointed out.
He said the construction of the toll plaza would relive the government from funding the roads maintenances in the country.
Southern Africa have a highly dependable road tolling facilities within the region and motorists are subjected to paying toll fees when using the country’s roads.-MANA