oa Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management - Challenges of raising road maintenance funds in developing countries : an analysis of road tolling in Zimbabwe
The condition of Zimbabwe's roads has been declining due to insufficient maintenance and rehabilitation. Year on year, budget allocations have compared unfavourably with funding considered adequate to maintain highway networks and conduct modest construction work. Road infrastructure shortcomings have manifested themselves in the form of high vehicle operating costs and rampant potholes, leading to a decline in road safety and a deterioration of service levels for those who use roads to deliver goods or connect to international markets. In order to try and stop this vicious cycle of decline, the Government of Zimbabwe, on 8 August 2009, introduced a new policy of road-user charges, which involved the setting-up of 22 toll gates on the trunk road network. The overall objective was to raise revenue in order to close the funding gap, blamed for declining road quality. Although alternative methods of financing road maintenance have been debated for years, a generally accepted understanding is that road users should pay costs for road provisioning. This paper assesses the implementation of a road tolling system in Zimbabwe and describes matters relating to, inter alia, implementation strategy, initial performance outcomes and sustainability.
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