THE Zimbabwean government has approved a hike of fares for state-operating intra-city public transport to prepare for reducing business amid a new Covid-19 lockdown.
The fares will see a nearly-90-percent increase for various distance ranges for both conventional buses and commuter omnibuses.
In a memo on Wednesday, Secretary for Finance George Guvamatanga said the new fares will take effect from January 18 to boost revenues for the state-owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) during the new lockdown lasting till Jan. 31.
“Treasury notes the proposed fares for both buses and commuter omnibuses, which are necessitated by the reduced carrying capacities due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting constraint on revenues which negatively impacts on operations,” Guvamatanga said.
Zimbabwe re-introduced a nationwide lockdown beginning on January 5 to contain an unprecedented spike of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country.
Under the current lockdown, the government bans all business activities except essential services such as those in hospitals, supermarkets, banks and pharmacies.
A curfew has been imposed while inter-city travel has also been suspended, with the country’s land borders closed.
ZUPCO buses are the only means of public transport in cities after the government last year banned privately-owned commuter omnibuses and instead invited owners of such vehicles to operate under the ZUPCO franchise.