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File photo: DW
From November 5, the fee for renewing a driving licenses will be about eight times as much as at present – and young Mozambicans believe that this is an elitist and exclusionary measure.
Renewing the driving license in Mozambique will cost more than 40 Euros, the current rate being around eight. A hike that is being criticised by drivers from all sectors, from passenger transport to long-haul freight and taxis – all people who are dependent on this document to be able to work.
For these professionals, the rise is exaggerated and does not take social strata into account. Minibus driver Silvestre Uamusse tells DW Africa that the measure is “an exclusion”. “I am a ‘Chapa’ driver,” he says. “I depend on this work to support the family.”
The driving licence “is not for those who can”
Beny Boavida, another minibus driver, reinforces the criticism, saying that the government is now “elitising” the driving licence. “The driving license is a document like any other, for anyone who wants one,” he says. “It is not only for those who can afford it – it is for whoever needs one,” he reiterates.
Taxi driver António Ngoenha is also against the measure. He tells DW Africa that there are many young people working in the transport sector in Mozambique, who “did not study” and for whom, for that reason, a driving license is essential.
“The driving license was supposed to be free or cost only 500 meticais [about eight Euros] or 250 meticais [about four Euros],” he remarks.
Speaking in Maputo this week, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Manuela Ribeiro said that only those who qualify would have a driving licence.
“The driving license is not like the identity card, which is compulsory. The driving license is not. I will have a driving license according to whether or not I meet the conditions,” she said.
The deputy minister justified the increase of the renewal fees of the driving license on the grounds that the current fee is very low. “Do you think you can produce a driving license for 500 meticais?” she asks. According to Ribeiro, the government has been subsidising the cost, which has contributed to the difficult financial situation in which the National Land Transport Institute of Mozambique now finds itself.
The government has been increasing various tariffs throughout 2018, including in the media, water, energy and fuel sectors. Now it is the turn of driving license.Source: Deutsche Welle
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