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    Monday, 13 May 2019

    Beitbridge feels the pinch as gatepasses shoot to RTGS$34

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    BEITBRIDGE – Residents of the bustling border town of Beitbridge have been shattered and thrown out of business following Government’s  implementation of a 277% increase of gate pass fees increase from May 1, 2019.
    The fees shot from RTGS$9 to RTGS$34 and those paying in foreign currency are required to part with either US$9 or R140 for light vehicles. A two way trip now costs RTGS$68 compared to RTGS$18 before the increase.
    The total cost for one to take a light vehicle across the border to Musina goes up to RTGS$78 including a road access fee of RTGS$10.
    Heavy vehicles are paying a whooping RTGS$86 or US$23 and R350 if paying in foreign currency respectively. All foreign cars are required to pay in foreign currency. For the return trip across the border, heavy vehicles pay $172 and the total shoots to $182 including road access fees of $10.
    Motorbikes are paying US$4, R60 or RTGS$15.
    Many people in Beitbridge are dependent on cross border business where they are couriers of goods getting across the two countries. Their vehicles are the major sources of their income.
    ZINARA spokesperson Augustine Moyo’s phone was constantly not answered.
    Beitbridge MP Albert Nguluve said he is taking up the issue with the responsible authority.
    Beitbridge mayor, Morgan Ncube expressed shock at the sharp rise in gate pass fees and said that there was no industry in Beitbridge and the source of income for residents was based on cross border business.
    He urged Government to reverse the increases or completely scrap the fees for the residents of Beitbridge.
    “There are no industries in Beitbridge. Musina is the industry for Beitbridge residents and for Zimbabweans at large and if they take that much from people, how will they survive? Vehicles from Beitbridge used to be exempted from paying all these fees and that’s what they should do. The money used to build that bridge has long been recovered so what more money do they want to collect from the people?” asked the mayor.
    Nelson Musonza, a clearing agent said that the increase stunned him.
    “I was shocked when I went to Musina on Friday only to be told that one has to pay $68 to and from Musina instead of the $18 we paid before that. The other additional cost is $10 Road Access,” he said.
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