Austrian based firm Kapsch TrafficCom has officially taken over road traffic management functions in Zambia.
In September last year, the Zambian government announced that Kapsch TrafficCom’s joint venture with Zambia’s Lamise Trading Limited had been awarded a nation-wide concession contract by the Zambian Government for the design, installation and operation of systems and solutions for traffic surveillance, vehicle speed enforcement, vehicle inspection and vehicle registration.
Transport Minister Brian Mushimba on Wednesday officially launched the Road Safety Management System at a ceremony in Lusaka saying the PF Government is aggressively implementing interventions that will use a combination of law enforcement, road safety education and intelligent traffic solutions to raise our road safety profile.
This scope of service will be realized in a phased approach over a 17-year contract.
For this project, Kapsch TrafficCom has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Lamise Trading.
Expected revenues in the first three years of operation are projected to be in the range of 90 million to 110 million Euros.
“By installing and operating Kapsch TrafficCom’s leading edge equipment and systems the joint venture will create some five hundred jobs, provide a boost to the economy in Zambia through improved road transport, and reduce the number of traffic accidents and their impact”, said Walid El Nahas, Chairman of Lamise Trading.
André Laux, COO of Kapsch TrafficCom, said “We feel honored with our partners Lamise Trading to be entrusted by the Zambian Government to help improve traffic safety in the country.”
Kapsch TrafficCom is an internationally renowned provider of intelligent transportation systems and has delivered road traffic management systems in more than 50 countries around the globe.
It’s a family-owned company headquartered in Vienna, Austria and in 2017 celebrated 125 years of successfully developing and implementing new technologies for the benefit of its customers.
As part of the Kapsch Group, Kapsch TrafficCom has subsidiaries and branches in more than 30 countries.
A statement from RTSA confirmed that a Public Private Partnership (PPP) structure has been established between the agency representing Government, and Intelligent Mobility Solutions (IMS) as private sector partner.
The Kapsch Group established Intelligent Mobility Solutions as a Zambian-based company to provide investment and international experience in transport technologies.
The Road Safety Management System is projected to create over 1500 direct jobs and 4500 indirect jobs for the Zambian people.
It is hoped that this will also broaden RTSA’s presence with the establishment of over 30 additional RTSA outlets which will be fitted with mechanised motor vehicle inspection equipment and enhance road traffic enforcement.
Zindaba Soko, CEO of RTSA, said, “The Road Safety Management System follows an integrated road safety strategy which includes vehicle registration and secure number plates, vehicle testing to ensure that all vehicles comply with safety requirements and overload control and weigh-in-motion to prevent damage to roads.
Mr Soko also said that other pillars include cross-border traffic management to manage in particular all the freight vehicles that transit through Zambia from their origin to destinations elsewhere and law enforcement to ensure that all the rules of the road are abided and a Traffic Management Centre to manage the overall process and to facilitate post-crash response where crashes do occur.
A statement from RTSA emphasised that the Road Safety Management System is completely self-sustainable and will not require funding from Government and that the project does not involve any disposal of state assets and will be implemented on a ‘Build Operate and Transfer’ basis.
It says at the end of the concession term of 17 years, all the assets under the project will vest in the Zambian state.
On the Traffic Management Control Centre, RTSA says the entire programme will be managed and coordinated by a central Traffic Management Control Centre and all the tools mobilised through this Public Private Partnership will be managed from the Control Centre to reduce congestion on roads, improve traffic flow, direct road safety law enforcement, manage vehicle testing and licensing, mitigate damage caused by overloaded cross border trucks and facilitate post-crash response.
On Road Safety Law Enforcement, the new system will support Traffic Officers to patrol the roads and take action on a range of moving violations and conduct road-side inspections ranging from unsafe and reckless driving behaviour and to spot checks for road-worthiness and overloading.
RTSA also states that Vehicle Inspection Centres will assist drivers to ensure that their vehicles are not killing machines while Electronic Vehicle Registration will inform the agency exactly how many vehicles there are on the roads, the categories and ages of these vehicles, and whether these vehicles are properly registered to be legally driving on the roads.
It also promises to update the e-Zamtis vehicle database and verify the data and keep it updated through secure number plates while cross-Border Traffic Management will ensure that trucks passing through Zambia for commercial purposes contribute towards the cost of building and maintaining the roads from which they benefit.
The new agreement also states that High-speed Weigh-in-Motion and Overload Control will be introduced because overloaded trucks cause disproportionate damages to the roads adding that it is only fair that those truck owners and hauler companies which overload, should pay for damage to the roads caused by overloading.
The number of vehicles on Zambia’s roads increased by 280% to 700,000 in the ten years to 2016 and road fatalities increased from 10 per hundred thousand inhabitants to 13.8 per hundred thousand in the same period.
In 2016 alone, 2,206 people died in traffic related accidents.