Ministry of Finance has deferred the rollout of tollgates under the Roads Fund Administration (Tolls) Regulations 2021 from September 1 to October 1 2021 purportedly to enable Malawians fully understand the importance of tollgates.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson Williams Banda on Monday said government has extended by a month the rollout of paying fees to raise awareness on the tollgates project.
He said: “Implementation will start at 1st September, but in terms of effectiveness of paying fees, that one will start on 1st October.
“We considered the time which the public was given to know what happens at the tollgates and how will it be done. So, it’s for the sake of public awareness of the procedures and technicalities of the tollgates.”
The development follows a public outcry over the gazetting of tollgate fees last week.
According to the Malawi Gazette Supplement dated August 6 2021 signed by Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu, the toll fees or other charges imposed for use for a tolled public road shall form part of the Roads Fund and shall be used for maintenance or rehabilitation of the tolled public roads
Among others, at a time of passing through a toll payment point, motorists driving light vehicles will pay K1 700, K3 400 for minibuses and pickups, K5 100 two to five-tonne vehicles with between 17 to 31 passengers capacity with two to five tonnes, K8 000 for vehicles with 10 tonnes capacity while for abnormal load vehicles, they will be required to pay K20 000.
In a separate interview, Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament chairperson Peter Dimba on Monday said his committee is planning to meet Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport and Public Works officials as well as Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Public Works to understand the rationale of toll-gates prices.
Roads Fund Administration introduced the tollgates project as a reform area to diversify sources of financing for road maintenance which currently solely relies on levies on prices of petrol and diesel.