By Daniel Chigundu
GOVERNMENT says it is in the process of reviewing the price of vehicle number plates down and has already come up with a draft proposal to that.
Vehicle number plates in Zimbabwe costs about US$160, a figure which people is unnecessarily expensive and is also unjustifiable.
However answering a question in the National Assembly, Transport and Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister Mike Madanha said his ministry is actually ceased with the issue as the prices were last reviewed eight years ago.
“My Ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is more than prepared to make some concessionary reductions. At the moment, we already have a draft proposal paper where we have proposed a reduction in the number plate user fees given the fact that the last downward review was made in 2009.
“In that draft paper, we see opportunities to reduce the user fee charge for motor vehicle number plates to US$125 and that of trailers to US$105.
“We are also considering a reduction in the replacement cost for a damaged or lost number plate in respect of number plates for public service vehicles and private vehicles from the current US$160 and US$140 to US$90 and US$75 respectively. It is our considered view that the proposed downward reviews in number plate user charges will contribute in a small way towards government policy on ease of doing business,” he said.
Deputy Minister Madanha said even though they are working on a price review, it is not cheap to produce the number plates as they are manufactured from high quality material and contain various security features.
“It is neither cheap to produce the current motor vehicle number plate nor is it made from cheap material. It costs us about US$100 to produce a set of vehicle registration documents, that is, front and rear number plates, the registration book and the third number plate for a motor vehicle.
“The material used in making motor vehicle plates is high quality aluminum. In addition, the Zimbabwe motor vehicle number plates unlike the majority that are found in the region, are embedded with a number of security features in order to avert the problem of use of clone number plates by criminals and other such persons who may choose not to comply with vehicle registration legislation,” he said.
Asked why government insist on the vehicle having new number plates instead of reverting to the old original number plate that can help tell the history of the car, the Deputy minister said number plates are like passports they contain certain security features
“This is mainly due to the fact that a number plate is just like a passport and it has got security features. We would like to say that when you lose one number plate, definitely you have to apply for a new set of number plates because of the security features that are there.
“It is a security embedded number plate. So, we definitely have to get a new set of number plates,” he said.