The National Roads Administration (NRA)has disclosed that it has collected over K500 million since the launching of the toll gate on 8 November at Chingeni.
NRA said this on the side-lines of an inspection tour of the toll gates at Kalinyeke and Chingeni done by the newly appointed Minister of Transport and Public works Jacob Hara on Monday.
NRA’s director of finance Alex Makhwatha, the system which they are using to collect the funds at the toll gates cannot be easily manipulated by the collectors because it is very secure.
“Firstly we have CCTV cameras at the toll gates and the system which we use to open the boom after payment is computer based whereby when the collector receives payment and opens the gate.
“The system is also calculating and at the end of the day it produces a report that is supposed to match with the money collected and as you can see one cannot steal,” he explained.
He however complained that they are facing challenges in the case of drivers using uncharted routes and also ambulance drivers whose vehicles are not supposed to pay at the toll gates but have been hitting the booms used to close the gates.
“We have so far reached out to the directors of health and social services to advise their drivers to be patient as they arrive at the toll gates because they also need to be processed before they are allowed to cross although they will not pay anything,” Makhwatha said.
Minister of Transport and Public Works Jacob Hara described the toll gates as a development which had been long overdue in the country.
“This is a good development which was supposed to have been done a long time because these roads need to be maintained and a project like this which adds on top of what government already puts aside for the maintenance and construction of roads is essential to making sure that we have a robust road network in the country,” he said.
Responding to complaints by some quarters that the price for the toll gates is still high, the minister said government came to the current figures after making proper estimates and he described the current price as very considerable to road users.