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New fares for passenger transport within the Maputo Greater Metropolitan Area, originally proposed to take effect on Wednesday, have been postponed until the first week of January, according to a report in the independent newssheet “Carta de Mocambique”.
The chairperson of the Mozambican Federation of Road Transport Associations (FEMATRO), Castigo Nhamane, told the paper “We made the proposal a month ago, we submitted it to the government, as the law requires, and yesterday we received a document, according to which our request as been analysed. But it will be approved on 15 December, and will take effect on 2 January”.
Faced with this delay, Nhamane urged his fellow transport operators “to accept the orientation from the government. I have sent the government’s document to all our associates. I know this may cause discontent, but I am calling for calm and patience for another month”.
Within the Greater Maputo area, fares are set to rise from ten meticais (about 16 US cents) to 12 meticais for distances of less than ten kilometres. For longer distances, within the city, fares should rise from 12 to 15 meticais.
As for interprovincial fares, FEMATRO wants passengers to pay two meticais per kilometre. That would mean the journey from Maputo to Vilanculo, in Inhambane province, a distance of 725 kilometres, will cost 1,400 meticais, an increase of 40 per cent on the current fare of 1,000 meticais.
The transport operators justify the new fares by citing the late October increase in fuel prices. The price of the diesel used by most passenger transport operators rose from 57.45 to 61.71 meticais per litre – an increase of 7.4 per cent, much lower than the fare increases FEMATRO is demanding.
The operators claim that the prices of tyres, spare parts and maintenance, have risen substantially since 2015, the last time a fare rise was authorised.