Picture by Patrick Mwashindange
The dualisation of the Okahandja/Windhoek Highway could in the far future see the introduction of toll gates by the Road Fund Administration upon enough consultation and availing of options to the road users RFA CEO Ali Ipinge told Prime Focus this week.
Speaking to the editor of the magazine Ipinge emphasised that the idea is in giving ample options to the road user before implementing changes to tolling. He adds that the current system uses indirect toll paying through contribution payment made when buying fuel, border charges and registration of cars.
“In this country, the design of our roads does not give the road users options. However, with projects such as the Okahandja/Windhoek road, which is being upgraded to a dual carriageway may then give us an option to put up a toll structure but as a principal we would first need to provide the road users with an alternative so that people who do not want to pay a toll can still get to their destination even without the use of a tolling system,” Ipinge said.
He also added that, “The principle which was adopted upon the inception of the RFA was the Road Users Charges System (RUCS) and this set the pace of how we charge road users to ensure that we have enough funds to sustain our road network.The RUCS has five components and these include what we call shadow tolls. These shadow tolls include the fuel levy. This means that every time a person fills up at a service station, they contribute towards the funds given to the road fund.”
Ipinge however reiterates that the thorny tolling system does not have to be like the South African model. “Our act does allow us to do have a tolling system in the same manner that it is done in South Africa, however, it is not practical for us to have this because the principal around tolling is that you want to give a road user an alternative. Therefore, if you say that you have refurbished a certain section of the road for example and this has set you back a lot of money and you now want to recoup this money, then you also have to give the road user an alternative route to use to get to the same destination even though it may take them longer to get there,” he said.
For the full engaging interview with Ipinge grab a copy of the Prime Focus Magazine March Edition coming out by the 10th