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File photo: A Verdade
Residents of the Katembe Municipal District “feel that the bridge has not benefited residents but tourists” and are urging the Assembly of the Republic to intercede with the government to have the toll rate reduced by 75%.
After receiving negative responses from the former Maputo-Sul Company and the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, residents of the Katembe Municipal District have now appealed to the Petitions Commission of the Assembly of the Republic, in the hope that they will be able to use the bridge over the Maputo bay, whose 160 meticais tariff is currently beyond their pockets.
Even the additional 20% reduction available to those who make at least 61 crossings is considered derisory by Katembe residents, who are demanding the same discount as that given to semi-collective passenger transportation and tractors, that is, 75% of the toll price, or only 40 meticais for all classes of vehicles.
“Worn out, the petitioners feel that the bridge does not benefit Katembe residents, but rather tourists. In addition, they consider that, by keeping the same prices for daily users of the bridge, the government is effectively making them pay for its construction,” the report presented last week by the commission to parliament reads.
The Road Fund and the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources consider the tolls “sustainable” for residents, even though they are far from covering maintenance costs and are by no means sufficient to service the debt, but the Petitions Commission also wishes to hear from the Minister of Economy and Finance before taking a position on the request.
Inaugurated in November last year the Maputo-Katembe Bridge will cost at least US$1.3, to be paid to China. Normal toll rates range from 160 meticais for light vehicles to 320 meticais for Class II, 750 meticais for Class III and 1,200 meticais for large tonnage trucks.Source: A Verdade