Sadc seeks to harmonise transport charges

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) committee for ministers responsible for Transport and Meteorology says it is geared to start the process of harmonising charges transporters pay when passing through countries in the region.

Committee chairperson Mmanare Mamabulo from South Africa said this in Lilongwe at the start of a week-long meeting.

Mamabulo: Different countries charge differently

She said when achieved, the arrangement will ease the trouble of doing business in the Sadc region by transporters.

Said Mamabulo: “Different countries charge their levies differently. For instance, in South Africa we charge the passenger safety charge for every plane flying public. So, one of the deliverables for the interim committee is to come up with a regional levy, but this is still going to be done in such a way that member States have to be consulted so that we come up with a position that will at the end incorporate member States’ positions.”

She said the consultations requirement is that it will take not less than three months for the process to be concluded.

Ministry of Transport and Public Works Principal Secretary Francis Chinsinga expressed optimism that the harmonisation of the transport charges will be beneficial for the member countries.

Chinsinga: Our transporters meet hurdles

He said: “You will find that our transporters meet hurdles in terms of transit charges, those are some of the issues that we would like to sort out so that we have uniform charges for our transporters passing through the Sadc region.”

After the committee meetings between Monday and Thursday, the resolutions to be passed are expected to be referred to            Sadc transport ministers who will join the meeting on Friday for adoption before closing of the meeting.

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