Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) will not accept payments through point of sale machines at tollgates as this can cause congestion and delays at tolling points, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Instead, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joram Gumbo encouraged motorists to embrace the prepaid tollgate fee system.
He was responding to a question in Parliament by Buhera South legislator Cde Joseph Chinotimba on Wednesday on why Zinara was not embracing the use of plastic money at tollgates.
“At tollgates, we may not be able to use the POS machines because we will spend a lot of time but I am advising motorists to use prepaid facilities. If we are to allow you to use the POS machines at the tollgates, it may take a long time and the queues can be so long that you will end up getting bored,” said Minister Gumbo.
He said as an alternative, Zinara had a new policy for a pre-paid system which is more efficient and convenient.
“We now have a policy which allows you to make a pre-payment where you get your ticket in advance. The pre-paid system is also used for Zinara payments at tollgates,” said Minister Gumbo.
He said the pre-paid system was mostly used by companies and institutions who bought tickets in advance.
“This system was introduced sometime back but it’s still unpopular with general motorists. Companies and institutions have embraced it. They purchase their toll tickets in advance for a period of a month or so,” said Minister Gumbo.
He said bond coins were also acceptable at the toll gates.
“We also use bond coins and it makes life easier for motorists to move around in their cars. When you pass through the tollgates, you are allowed to make your payments using bond coins because they have an equivalent value as the US dollar.
“We also ask you as people’s representatives to advise your constituents that they can use these bond coins at the tollgates,” he said.
Zimbabwe has been hit by cash shortages in recent months due to externalisation of foreign currency and a widening trade deficit.
As a result, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has come up with a raft of measures aimed at minimising the crisis. The measures include promotion of plastic money usage (use of bank cards and other electronic payments) by the transacting public, reduction in electronic transaction costs as well as imposition of daily cash withdrawal limits.
The use of plastic money in the retail sector has increased by 70 percent following calls by monetary authorities on the transacting public to increase electronic money usage.