Picture: THINKSTOCK

Picture: THINKSTOCK

Namibia’s Road Fund Administration (RFA) says Namibia’s Road User Charges will increase from 1 May 2015 by about 10 percent. The increase concerns all foreign-registered vehicles using Namibia’s road network, specifically with regard to cross-border charges as well as Mass Distance Charges.

The Namibian RFA, according to its mandate, imposes the following Road User Charges:

Annual Motor Vehicle License and Vehicle Registration Fees

These charges are payable by all Namibian-registered vehicles on an annual basis and per registration of a vehicle

Cross-Border Charges or Entry Fees

These fees are payable by all foreign-registered vehicles entering Namibia and using its national road network

Mass Distance Charges or Traveling Distance Charges

These levies are payable by all Namibian-registered and foreign-registered vehicles, with a carrying capacity of more than 3,500 kg, for the size of the vehicle and the distances it travels

Abnormal Load Fees

Payable for vehicles that transport abnormal loads such as heavy equipment for mining, construction and other sectors

Fuel Levies

The RFA collects a portion of the total fuel levy imposed by the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Fuel Levies are payable by all vehicles using Namibia’s roads, whether locally or foreign-registered.

Due to an increasing demand for maintenance of Namibia’s national road network, as well as the need for new roads, it has become imperative to increase the Road User Charges imposed by the RFA.

All Road User Charges will increase by approximately ten percent from 1st May 2015. This increase is authorized by virtue of amendments and annexures to sections of the Road Fund Administration Act, 1999 (Act 18 of 1999), to be published in the Government Gazette of May 2015.

The affected Road User Charges are: Motor Vehicle License and Vehicle Registration Fees, Cross-Border Charges (or Entry Fees), Mass Distance Charges (or Traveling Distance Charges), Abnormal Load Fees and Fuel Levies.

The new Motor Vehicle License and Vehicle Registration Fees are posted on notices at all NaTIS offices countrywide and at the RFA Head Office.

The amended rates for the rest of the Road User Charges are published in information brochures that will be available at the RFA and the various Namibian Border Posts.

Regarding the Fuel Levies accrued to the Road Fund, we refer you to the increase which gazetted (Government Gazette Number 5706) on 2 April 2015. Petrol increased by 10 cents per litre and diesel by 10 cents per litre.

You may rightfully ask why this increase now?

The Fuel Levy (for both petrol and diesel) apportioned to the Road Fund was last increased in the 2010/2011 financial year with only five cents, while the other Road User Charges were last adjusted in the 2011/2012 financial year.

Thus, the Road User Charges were effectively increased almost 5 years ago; whilst the cost of maintaining our national road network has substantially increased during the same period. The lack of tariffs hikes for the Road Fund during these years, has effectively curtailed proper maintenance of the national road network. Going forward and subject to necessary approval by the government, it is our intention to revise our tariffs annually in line with inflation.

Additional funding is required to finance key road projects that include:

  • The dual carriageway construction between Windhoek and Okahandja;
  • Construction of Trunk Road between Windhoek and Hosea International Airport;
  • Rehabilitation of Trunk Road between Windhoek and Rehoboth;
  • Rehabilitation of Trunk Road between Rehoboth and Mariental;
  • Rehabilitation of two major bridges between Rehoboth and Mariental;
  • Rehabilitation of Trunk Road between Mariental-Keetmanshoop and Grunau;
  • Rehabilitation of Trunk Road 2 Section 1 (T0201) between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund;
  • Rehabilitation of Trunk Road between Karibib and Omaruru;
  • Rehabilitation of a portion of Trunk Road between Omuthiya-Ondangwa and Ongwediva.

The maintenance as well as rehabilitation of the National Road Network, urban arterial roads as well as the other roads related activities are mainly financed via the Road User Charges through a User-Pay-Principle. Road Users are the beneficiaries of an improved, and above all, a safe road network.

Key achievements of the past year
The surfaced condition for the road network has improved from 17% of the previous years to 12% currently. This is due to major reseal works that are currently happening (Target of 10%).

About 112km bitumen road was constructed to date, exceeding the target of 100km/ annually.

More than 98 km of gravel road has been constructed to date exceeding the target of 90 km annually.

Key challenges:

• The majority of the road network is above lifespan.
• Backlog on rehabilitation of paved road network of 6664 km.
• GRN mostly opts to fund road construction rather than road preservation (balancing road presentation allocation vs. new development not realized).
• Unpredictable funds for roads projects. More funding options are to be investigated.

It therefore stands to reason that we have to call on our Road Users for an increased contribution, thereby ensuring that they receive value for their money and that the revenue from the Road User Charging System is utilised for their exclusive benefit.