- No provision for drop-off points on both sides
- Toll gate on Zambian side charges P150
- Operators cannot pass the levy to passengers
There is confusion about whether taxis should drop passengers on the Botswana or Zambian side at the recently commissioned Kazungula Bridge, The Botswana Gazette has established.
There is no clearly marked point for dropping off passengers on both sides, nor is there a turn-around or taxi traffic island for the purpose. Yet the cabbies get into trouble with traffic cops for making a U-turn.
In the circumstances, the Chairman of Kasane Taxi Operators Association (KTA), Michael Tshupo, says operators often find it easier to drop their passengers on the Zambian side where there is the ‘burden’ of a toll gate.
“Upon return from the Zambian side, we are charged P150 at the toll gate but are not allowed to take passengers that side,” Tshupo told The Botswana Gazette. “If we try to raise the fare to make up for the levy at the toll gate, our passengers complain and threaten to take the matter further.
“The opening of this marvellous bridge has brought us problems. We once had a meeting with Department of Transport, Kasane police and the council. We are yet to get feedback from all these authorities.”
The Chairman of Chobe District Council, Amos Mabuku, has acknowledged these concerns but said everything around operations at Kazungula Bridge was agreed between the governments of Botswana and Zambia and that the two countries are still getting accustomed to one-stop formalities there.
“It is not easy to make changes for that reason,” Mabuku said. “However, this is a temporary arrangement that could be reviewed to ease operations, going forward.”