One hundred US dollars one way.
That’s what it will cost an articulated truck to cross the Kazungula Bridge as of May 11, according to official notification from the Botswana United Revenue Service.
The detailed freight-related fee structure for cross-border hauliers to use the multimodal crossing between Botswana and Zambia, which was finally released yesterday, is as follows:
· $65 for a rigid truck of 10ton and above.
· $85 for the same truck (as above), but with a trailer.
· $50 for a horse on its own.
· $85 for a horse with a semi-trailer.
· $100 for a horse with a semi-trailer and dangler.
· $100 for a horse with two interlink trailers.
Coming little over a weekend before the Zambezi River linkage is finally commissioned, the toll tariffs are certain to affect overborder transport costs.
“We knew it was going to be stiff,” said Mike Fitzmaurice, chief executive of the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta).
“There has to be a recovery period for governments to recoup construction costs and it could take up to five years or more. The concession period for such a structure is usually 20 years.”
He remarked that the cost of using the bridge should be seen in relation to what it costs per day to park a truck at the Kazungula transit – $100.
“That’s what it costs to be a transporter in our region,” he quipped.
“Governments charge these fees to recover their costs and transporters have to pick up the tab.”