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TRAC (File photo)
The South African company TRAC (Trans-African Concessions), which operates the motorway from Maputo to South Africa, on Thursday announced an increase in the tolls at its two tollgates in Maputo and Moamba by between 11 and 59 per cent, taking effect as from 1 July.
At the tollgate in Maputo, motorbikes and light vehicles will now pay 30 meticais (about 50 US cents, at current exchange rates), rather than 25 meticais, an increase of 20 per cent. For medium cargo vehicles, with no more than two axles, the increase is 17.6 per cent – rising from 85 to 100 meticais.
Heavy goods vehicles with three or four axles will now now pay 350 rather than 220 meticais to cross the tollgate, which is a 59 per cent rise. The toll for trucks with five or more axles rises from 370 to 500 meticais, a 35 per cent increase.
At the Moamba toll gate, about 60 kilometres northwest of Maputo, the tolls for the same four classes of vehicles rise from 135 to 150 meticais (11 per cent); from 330 to 380 meticais (15 per cent); from 850 to 1,100 meticais (29.4 per cent); and from 1,100 to 1,500 meticais (36.4 per cent).
The preferential tolls charged for passenger transport vehicles remain unchanged. A minibus will still pay only 15 meticais at the Maputo gate and 81 meticais at Moamba. For buses, the toll remains 51 meticais at Maputo and 198 meticais at Moamba.
Several of these rises are much higher than the Mozambican inflation rate, currently running at around 20 per cent a year. TRAC justified these inflation-busting rises on the grounds that, although the tolls ought to be adjusted every year, the tolls for light vehicles had not been changed since 2013, and for heavy vehicles since 2014.
TRAC claims that the higher tolls will provide money for maintenance and safety on the motorway.
The TRAC release claims that 1.851 billion meticais (about 30.8 million dollars) was recently spent on rehabilitating sections 17 and 18 of the road, and in widening the Moamba tollgate. Upgrading work is under way on sections 16, 19 and 20 at a cost of 3.2 billion meticais.Source: AIM