SA and Zimbabwe seal deal on Limpopo Bridge tolling

HARARE — South Africa and Zimbabwe are to split revenue from traffic through the Limpopo Bridge, whose administration was handed over to the Zimbabwean government on Tuesday.

The handover followed the expiry of the 20-year long build, operate and transfer agreement signed with New Limpopo Bridge, the company that built the bridge in 1994.

Traffic coming into Zimbabwe will pay fees to the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara). It remains unclear which agency will handle South Africa’s revenue collection.

The cash-strapped Zimbabwean government is set to pocket $1.6m monthly through toll fees — significant inflows that the country’s Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Obert Mpofu said would have “an impact” on the state’s tight revenue. “Revenue collection will be administered by Zinara and while it will go to Treasury, it will also be used for the (infrastructure) development needs of the Beitbridge border town .”

“All revenue from traffic coming into Zimbabwe will be handled by Zinara, while traffic into South Africa will remit toll fees which will be handled by their own management system.”

South Africa was still working on a framework and regulatory body that would be in charge of revenue collection on its side of the border, Mr Mpofu said. But since Zimbabwe already had a system that was fully functional it was going ahead with the revenue collection.

Spokesman for the South African Revenue Service Adrian Lackay directed questions to the Department of Home Affairs, which he said was better placed to know which agency would collect revenue on behalf of South Africa.

Mr Mpofu said officials from South Africa’s transport ministry were unhappy with the “low fees” Zimbabwe charged. At the rate that Zimbabwe was progressing, it would never be able to build new roads.

Zinara collected about $40m from toll fees nationwide each month. “This is not enough for constructing even 30km of road,” Mr Mpofu said.

“We decided with our South Africa counterparts that this was the best arrangement (split revenue at Beitbridge), instead of sharing total revenue collected as there was disagreement over the best way to do this.”


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