47 New ZUPCO Buses To Be Commissioned Soon: July Moyo
The new buses were recently acquired from South Africa and China. Delivery of an additional 500 new buses from Belarus, which will be supplied as knocked-down kits, is expected after a team from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that is already in Minsk, receives training on assembling the coaches.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo told our Harare Bureau that Government was working on establishing a reliable mass public transport system.
“We have bought 47 buses from China and South Africa and they are already in (the country) and they will be commissioned very soon.
“In terms of the Belarus buses, we have now come up with a special arrangement where we have sent designs which suit our local terrain and they will send in knocked-down kits, which will be assembled here in Zimbabwe and create employment,” said Minister Moyo.
“It is already work in progress and we have sent a team which will be taught how to assembly the kits and they will come and assemble the kits here in Zimbabwe.
“We also want to concentrate on the rural areas, which is also President Mnangagwa’s desire. We will continue with the urban areas, but we want to concentrate on the rural areas.”
Zupco’s acting chief executive officer Mr Evaristo Madangwa said some of the new buses will be channelled to rural areas.
“Currently the number of buses that are available are around 380. However, some have breakdowns, but the number of buses are currently plying different urban routes countrywide is 225,” he said.
“We are working on having some of the buses ply rural routes, while some will be channelled towards the urban centres.”
Government’s targeted intervention through providing subsidised transport is meant to insulate commuters from extortionate fares charged by private transport operators.
It is believed that Treasury, which is currently buoyed by monthly budget surpluses of $100 million, is allocating $8 million per month in subsidies to Zupco.
Urban travellers pay 50 cents within a 20km radius, while a distance of up to 30km is pegged at 75 cents, with a distance of up to 40km costing $1.
The parastatal has also found favour with commuters as it is conveniently accepting all forms of payment, most particularly prepaid cards and other electronic payments.
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