Whoever proposed e-toll should be taken to a Psych ward– Kavihuha

• By Erasmus Shalihaxwe

WITH all the inequalities and high poverty rate in the country, there is no way a country like Namibia can afford to introduce e-toll roads, therefore, whoever proposed this should be taken to a Psychiatrist for mental observation.

These were the words uttered by Trade Union Congress of Namibia Secretary General, Mahongora Kavihuha while reacting to government’s plan to introduce toll gates on the country’s national highways.

Local media reported this week that Road Fund Administration (RFA), Chief Executive Officer, Ali Ipinge, said cabinet had in principal approved the introduction of the e-toll system, and so far over 70 road sections around the country had been identified but only 23 are suitable for setting up toll gates.

It is reported that RFA requested N$ 4,2 billion to kick start the project, however only N$ 3,4 billion was approved by government. E-toll is an advanced solution developed, implemented, maintained and monitored by a country’s road administrator which requires road users to pay a certain amount of money to use that road.

They are used in most countries around the world, and in South Africa, toll gate charges vary from with the Grasmere charges R22.50, while the Verkeerdevlei charges R64 and Vall Toll gate charges R74.50.

Charges also vary depending on the size of the vehicle.

Ipinge defended the plan, saying that currently RFA generates N$ 2,7 billion per year from road users’ charges and if e-toll is introduced it will generate N$ 750 million more annual.However, Kavihuha is totally against the idea and described it as a failure by a government which is now trying to shifting the responsibility of road maintenance to the masses.

“Namibia is country with so much high inequality and poverty rate with people that are already struggling to pay for basic services, and now you want to introduce e-toll roads. People in government offices should stop shifting their responsibilities to the masses, whoever came up with such a proposal should be taken to a psychiatric ward. There is no way a person in their right mind will come up with such an idea,” Kavihuha said.

He added that Namibians should mobilise themselves and come together to reject the proposal because it will add more financial burden on them by paying for things that are supposed to be paid for through government budget.

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