TRANSPORT, Works, Supply and Communication Minister Yamfwa Mukanga will soon engage the Ministry of Finance over the recently hiked Road Safety and Transport Agency (RTSA) fees which have sparked protests by some motorists.
Mr Mukanga has also described as illegal the planned increment in transport fares because various stakeholders have not yet met to discuss the proposal.
The Minister said he had already spoken to the Republican President Edgar Lungu over the recently hiked RTSA fees and expressed hope that something would be done soon to address the matter.
Mr Mukanga was speaking in an interview in Monze on Sunday after he officiated at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of new offices for the South Zambia Conference (SZC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“I have heard the concern from motorists over the hiked RTSA fees and I will try to address it with the Ministry of Finance and see what we can do.
“If the new fees are so high, then it is not acceptable. I have already spoken to the Republican President and so it is something we need to address,” Mr Mukanga said.
He however said it was unacceptable for taxi drivers and other motorists in Livingstone to protest by putting stones on the roads and burning tyres over the matter.
Mr Mukanga said there were better channels that the motorists could have used to air their grievances instead of doing what they did.
He also corrected the notion that RTSA increased the fees saying it was is the unit fee which had changed from the Ministry of Finance and penalty fees were still the same at RATSA.
“What has changed in that the Ministry of Finance came up with a Statutory Instrument (SI) number 41 of 2015 which changes the value of a unit fee from 20 ngwee to 30 ngwee.
“Now since they changed at the Ministry of Finance, the first area where it was noticed was in the area of transport and so what it has done is that it has increased the fees across the board and not only
in the transport sector,” Mr Mukanga said.
On threats by some transport operators to hike the fares in view of
recent increment in fuel prices, Mr Mukanga described the action as
another illegality by motorists.
“Whenever there is need to increase pump price of fuel, there is a
procedure to follow. Transporters have to go to RTSA and bring the
proposal to the Ministry and so that we sit on a round table to
negotiate and discuss.
“As far as I am concerned, I am not convinced as to why they should
increase transport fares because if you recall the pump price eight
months ago was almost similar to what it is today. When we did
reduction in January 2015, I requested everyone to come on board and
discuss and they refused and so I am also refusing the increment
because the prices have now come back to what they used to be,” Mr
He urged transport operators to maintain the fares because they made a
profit when there was a reduction in fuel prices.
“Why should they take people for granted? They want to increase the
fares and yet there is a procedure to follow which they are not
“Let them come and convict us that what they are doing is a correct
thing but for now their action is illegal and they should just
withdraw,” Mr Mukanga said.