ZIMBABWE and Zambia have introduced toll fees for the world-famous Victoria Falls Bridge on the border between the two countries with effect from next month.
The over-a-century-old bridge is jointly managed and maintained by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL).
Emerged Railways Properties (ERP), a company jointly owned by NRZ and ZRL, confirmed the toll fees in a statement Friday.
According to the company, proceeds will be used for maintenance of the ageing bridge.
“Following the enactment of Statutory Instrument 171 of 2012 in terms of Section 6 of the Toll Roads Act (Chapter 13:13) and published in the government gazette dated 2 November 2012, all motorists traversing the Zambia-Zimbabwe border of Victoria Falls are hereby notified that the Emerged Railways Properties (ERP) will commence the collection of toll fees for use of the Victoria Falls Bridge effective 1 January 2017,” reads the statement.
Haulage trucks will pay $30 while buses and commercial mini buses which are mostly used by tour operators on a daily basis will fork out $7 and $5 per entry respectively.
Heavy vehicles will be charged $10 but metered taxis and small vehicles below two tonnes of gross mass will be exempted from the toll fees.
ERP said it acknowledges that the bridge is key to the socio-economic development in Zimbabwe and Zambia as it is the gateway into the SADC region and therefore, “requires regular maintenance to cope with increasing levels of traffic”.
“It is against this background that the government of Zambia and Zimbabwe have resolved to put in place the requisite legal instrument for the tolling of the bridge.
“The Victoria Falls toll fees will be used specifically for the refurbishment and maintenance of the bridge in order to guarantee its long-term existence.”
Constricted by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company in 1905, the single lane bridge has not had major refurbishments over the years save for routine maintenance.
It is one of the country’s busy ports of entry with dozens of haulage trucks carrying coal, copper and maize mostly, between the two countries and into the region.Advertisement