Government says it has raised over K 18.63 million in the last six months from toll gates fitted on some selected points on some roads in the country.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister,Yamfwa Mukanga said the money was raised through a pilot project involving seven toll gates that have been erected on weigh bridges and that only trucks passing through the seven bridges are currently being levied.
Mr. Mukanga said government has currently seen great potential in raising more finances for carrying out more sustainable maintenance of existing roads and those being constructed.
He said they will roll-out to other roads and also put up actual toll gates instead of using weigh bridges to collect the toll fees so that they can capture smaller vehicles under the system.
ZANI9S reports that the Minister was speaking when he made a presentation at the 2014 Africa Ports and Harbours show at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, today.
The Show is a platform where countries speak about their investment potential to prospective investors.
This was contained in statement availed to ZANIS by High Commission of Zambia in South Africa, Press Secretary Nicky Shabolyo.
And the minister told the gathering that government was targeting at diverting transportation of all heavy cargo from the road to the railway network by 2016.
He stated that they repossessed the Zambia Railways from Rails System of Zambia to prevent further damage to the road and improve the rail system which had suffered deterioration due to lack of re-investment.
He said the railway system in the country had deteriorated to levels where trains cannot move at more than 20 kilometres per hour.
“With such low levels of spead, transit time obviously becomes longer and in the process the cost of doing business becomes unbearable,” he said.
Mr. Mukanga 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.
He stated that road projects such as the Link Zambia 8000 and the rail lines being constructed were part of the vision of linking the country to other countries.
Mr. Mukanga pointed out that five railway projects meant to connect major transport corridors were currently being developed as part of Zambia’s efforts to link the region and the projects include the Chingola-Sol-Jimbe railway line,Nseluka-Mpulungu,Chipata-TazaraMpika,Kafue Lion’s den and Livingstone Katima Mulilo rail project.
He also disclosed that government has invested over US$50m in maritime transportation development but this fell below the required levels of investment to make the sector efficient.
Mr. Mukanga said potential investors can also take advantage of the current lack of investment in dry ports, lack of bigger passenger and cargo vessels on lakes and lack of investment in maritime infrastructure.