Road tolling programme postponed indefinitely

The Road Fund Administration (RFA) has announced that it has postponed its proposed road tolling programme indefinitely.

RFA in a statement on Thursday said this comes after it received policy support from the government in 2022 to engage stakeholders on the introduction of tolling in Namibia.

It however said as a result of the prevailing economic climate, coupled with factors such as high interest rates and inflation, it has decided to defer its planned stakeholder and public consultations on the implementation of road tolling until further notice.

The RFA further said it commissioned two feasibility studies on tolling which concluded that tolling is economically and practically feasible in Namibia.

“Road authorities and agencies worldwide are under financial pressure to maintain ageing road networks with rapidly diminishing resources. As road conditions deteriorate, vehicle operating costs rise due to faster vehicle wear and tear (damage to tyres, suspension, shocks, etc.) and increased travel time. These hidden costs raise vehicle maintenance and overall transportation costs for the economy, costing the road user time and money. Tolling is one such funding model. As a result, the RFA looked into the viability of introducing road tolls as an additional revenue stream to maintain the N.dollars 7.5 billion national road network,” the statement read.

It also stated that due to the proliferation of electric and fuel-efficient vehicles over the last 15 years, vehicle fuel demand has fallen by two per cent per year. This trend will continue as the world phases out gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, which will result in regular funding gaps for maintenance and a systemic deterioration of the road infrastructure.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency