THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) is set to introduce a coupon system to address congestion at tollgates which has seen motorists spending a long time in queues.
The queues have become an inconvenience for motorists as in some cases they spend up to 20 minutes at a tollgate.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said a new coupon system will be introduced before the end of this month to address the congestion problem.
He was speaking during the National Assembly’s Wednesday Question and Answer session while responding to legislators who wanted to know what Government was doing to address congestion at tollgates.
“Speaker Sir and let me also thank the Hon Member for that very important question. The citizenry is actually suffering, especially those passing through our tollgates all over the country,” he said.
Minister Mhona said due to connectivity challenges, motorists at times spend some time at tollgates waiting to be served.
“As Government, within the last two weeks I actually engaged Zinara which is in charge of our tollgates and we are seized with this problem as we speak.
“They have introduced what they call the tap card which was giving problems, particularly three or four weeks ago but they have promised that now there is improved connectivity in terms of the point of sale where they have engaged a number of banks to partake in this very important programme,” he said.
Mr Mhona said Zinara will soon introduce a coupons system to address the congestion problem at tollgates.
“I want to assure the Honourable Member that we have been given a target of 31 March by which Zinara would have managed the issue of queues,” he said.
Minister Mhona on Saturday visited Esigodini tollgate to establish what was causing the delay in upgrading it into a four-way.
He said it was worrying that despite availability of funds, departments that are responsible for upgrading the tollgate were not moving with speed.
The tollgate is always heavily congested and is characterised by long queues.
In an interview yesterday, Minister Mhona said he toured the tollgate to get first hand information on what was delaying its upgrade.
“I wanted to see what was causing the delay in the expansion of that tollgate. Remember there are two booths but we want it to have an additional two booths and also construct a canopy. And it had been like that for over two years, so Zinara availed funds for the expansion but it was an issue of coordination to see how they could expedite the project. So, I got the assurance from the provincial roads engineer that work will start soon,” he said.
Minister Mhona said according to Zinara, the Esigodini tollgate is one of the best tollgates and in fact is number four in terms of revenue collections so that cannot be ignored.
He urged Government departments to provide servant leadership and address people’s challenges as directed by President Mnangagwa.
Minister Mhona said he is also expecting road authorities to start filling potholes as work has already started in some areas. – Chronicle