NRFA â€“ Road Tolling Corner
THIS space will, every two weeks, highlight the activities under phase II of the National Road Tolling Programme (NRTP) being implemented by the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA), a statutory body mandated to administer and manage all financial resources in the road sector.
Zambia has witnessed unprecedented growth in the road construction industry in the recent past, taking advantage of its strategic geographic position. This huge capital investment needs to be complemented with a sustainable funding for road maintenance to preserve the road asset.
It is for this reason that Zambia has joined other countries in looking beyond the traditional sources of funding for road maintenance and embraced road tolling as an integral tool for sustainable road maintenance.
Hence, the commencement of Phase I of the NRTP in November 2013 where tolls were collected from heavy goods vehicles at gazetted weighbridges across the country. Phase II of the NRTP which covers all vehicle classifications started on January 15, 2016 at the two toll sites of Manyumbi, between Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi and Kafulafuta, between Kapiri Mposhi and Ndola.
The NRFA has, at these sites, adopted simple and inexpensive booth and boom technology as a temporary road tolling mechanism with the aim of increasing road maintenance revenue at a minimum cost before the construction of permanent toll plazas is completed.
The agency is rolling out the implementation of NRTPII across the core road network to ensure equitable installation, generation and application of tolls revenue in all the 10 provinces of Zambia with the upcoming permanent toll sites, in the immediate run, at Chongwe, Shimabala, Mumbwa and Chisamba.
However, today, November 14, 2016, the NRFA has flagged off the commencement of tolling for all vehicle classifications at Kafue Bridge police checkpoint, which is a temporary toll site, and will be decommissioned and relocated to Shimabala, once construction of a permanent toll plaza has been completed.
Heavy goods vehicles will continue paying tolls at the Kafue Weighbridge point to avoid traffic congestion at the Kafue Bridge police checkpoint.
With this development, all vehicles will be required to pay the stipulated toll, and the only exempted vehicles from road tolling, as per the Tolls Act No. 14 of 2011, will be for the republican President and Vice-Presidentâ€™s motorcades, military and police vehicles, public or private ambulances, emergence response vehicles and vehicles carrying blood or tissue banks.
To help elaborate further on road tolling, we give a reflection of some of the frequently asked questions:
Q: Why toll national roads?
A: Road construction costs billions of Kwacha. Tolling assists us in meeting the ever-increasing economic demands of our society and allows for the provision of much-needed infrastructure with respect to road maintenance.
Q: Why do I pay taxes including fuel levy and now also tolls?
A: When we pay taxes, these monies are used for the services which Government renders to all Zambians. Tolls, on the other hand, are only utilised for that portion of road that we use. In other words, it is a user fee. Tolls are being collected on a User Pay Principle, where road users pay for a service in a similar manner as they do with electricity, water, or indeed mobile telephone recharge.
If motorists do not drive on tolled sections of the Zambian roads for the whole year, they would not pay any toll in that particular year. Conversely, a tax is a revenue system which is imposed on all regardless of whether they use the service or not.
Q: What are my tolls used for?
A: The tolls collected are exclusively used to finance the general maintenance of the tolled road.
Q: Why do we have to pay tolls on an existing road, which was initially paid for out of taxes?
A: Roads deteriorate over time due to environmental and other influences, such as weather, ultraviolet radiation, overloading, etc. Tolls are not levied on the current asset/road (which is a â€˜sunkâ€™ cost), but on the new works and future improvements, including operations and maintenance. Monies derived from taxes are used on other non-toll roads.
Q: What are the benefits of toll roads?
A: Toll roads ensure a high quality road network. In addition to contributing to improved road safety, toll roads generally reduce travelling distances and result in substantial savings on the running costs of your vehicle.
Should you have any questions or clarifications regarding toll roads, please do not hesitate to contact us using: Road Tolling Corner, P.O. Box 50695 Lusaka. E-mail [/owa/]firstname.lastname@example.org
NRFA â€“ Road Tolling Corner