More buses for the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco) are expected to arrive in the country this week. The Government recently purchased 300 buses – 200 from South Africa and 100 from China.
Currently, the company has 255 buses servicing the country’s major towns and cities. 212 of those are being provided by the private sector. In the medium term, Belarus will supply an additional 500 buses under a deal that was struck by President Emmerson Mnangagwa during his State visit to Minsk in January this year.
We are expecting the next batch of buses in the country during the first week of June. These buses will not be centralised in urban areas only, but to rural areas as well, for most buses that came into the country were being deployed in urban areas, mainly Harare and Bulawayo, but these will be extended to rural routes.
Reports suggest that Treasury intends to allocate $8 million per month in subsidies to Zupco. Madangwa added that the parastatal accepts all forms of payment and has vendors who are selling prepaid cards on loading bays.
Private transport operators argue that they hiked their prices following the fuel price increase. Recently, Bulawayo commuter omnibus operators suspended their services arguing that the business was no longer sustainable.
The government claims that ZUPCO would still make a profit if it charges 30 cents for a trip it is currently charging 50 cents. Meanwhile, commuter omnibus operators are charging between $2 and $4 depending for the same distances.
More: The Sunday News