Approved: Bus operators, RTSA agree to hike bus fares by 22%

The Bus and Taxi Owners Association of Zambia has tentatively increased bus fares by 22 percent effective 8th October following a consultative meeting by the Road Transport and Safety Agency and bus and taxi operators.

The position was arrived at following the increase in the fuel pump prices early October this year.

The Energy Regulations Board on 2nd October announced an upward adjustment in fuel pump prices per liter by K2.31 for Petrol, K2.64 for Diesel and Low Sulphur Gas and K2.49 for Kerosene due to changes in the fundamentals that determine fuel prices.

During a meeting this week, the bus operators requested to vary their current Road Service Licences by making adjustment of bus fares as stipulated under the Road Traffic Act Number 11 of 2002.

RTSA Head of Public Relations Fredrick Mubanga confirmed that the desired increase has been effected after approval by all concerned stakeholders including the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“The move is in line with the conditions under which the Road Service Licences are granted. Subsection 12 (d) of Section 108 of the Road Traffic Act of 2002 underscores that a person applying for a road service license, and a holder of such a licence applying for its variation, shall submit to the Director the rate of fares of the proposed services”. Mr. Mubanga explained.

He however said that for certain routes, the fares will be less than 22 percent as guided by fare charts that will be prepared by the Association in consultation with RTSA.

Mr. Mubanga said additionally, the concerned stakeholders including the Ministry of Transport and Communications will be holding another meeting next week to discuss this matter further and the public will be informed accordingly.

Meanwhile, Fuel prices are expected to go down following a memorandum of understanding between the Zambian government and the Ministry of Energy of Angola for an installation of a pipe line that is expected to be bringing in fuel into the country.

The MOU is expected to be signed today October 10 by the two neighboring countries, Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa told parliament on October 9 during the presentation of his ministerial statement.

Mr Nkhuwa disclosed that this is one of the measures meant to sure that prices of fuel are reduced for the benefits of Zambians.

The Minister has also disclosed that government is also expanding the fuel line by increasing the fuel production at Indeni and will also bring in equity partners who will also bring in cheaper oil into the country.

Mr Nkhuwa indicated that so far five bidders have expressed interest to be strategic partners and by November this year successful bidders will be announced.

Meanwhile 1st Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala has directed Mr Nkhuwa to return to the house on Friday and present a comprehensive statement on the 20 million Saudi Arabia oil deal which was meant to stabilize the fuel prices for a period of five years.

Ms Namugala made her directive to the Minister after Members of Parliament asked the Minister to explain to the house on what happened to the Saudi Oil deal which was going to see a reduction in the fuel prices to K5 local currency.

The Deputy Speaker told Mr Nkhuwa that he would be given an opportunity to come back to the house on Friday to issue a statement on the price stability of the fuel prices in relation to the Saudi Arabia oil deal which was signed by government in Jeda in 2016.

Source: Lusaka Times

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