THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has come up with an outrageous number plates fee of US$200, a development that has been castigated by the business community, saying it was beyond the reach of many.
Speaking during the crime consultative meeting on Wednesday, an official from ZIMRA said number plates now cost US$200.�We had been stopped from putting number plates because of constraints as we were having erratic deliveries.
�However, at the moment we are issuing them and they cost US$200,� said the official.
However, the fee was described as too much and unreasonable by businesspeople operating within the city, who said the high fees were fuelling robberies.
�The fees are unreasonable and we urge ZIMRA to try and come up with fees that can be attained by people. Also in the event of armed robbers using getaway cars without number plates, it would be hard for police to track them down since most cars will operate without number plates,� said a businessman from Bellevue Spar.
He challenged ZIMRA to review the fee downwards, saying they would force businesses to also increase prices so as to make profits.
Transporters� associations also said the fees were inconsiderate and would force commuter omnibus operators to also hike their fares.
�Businesses should complement each other and in this light if ZIMRA demands that much, it will be forcing kombis to also increase their fares so as to raise the money,� said Mr Strike Ndlovu, the Bulawayo Passengers and Transporters� Association secretary-general.
Businesspeople appealed to parastatals to consider the impact of their high charges on businesses and how it ends up increasing the cost of living for all people.
Most vehicle owners in the city have resorted to putting cardboard boxes in place for number plates, as they are failing to raise the money.
Some vehicle owners have in the past been struggling to get number plates for their cars, as the authority did not have any in stock.
People willing to change ownership of their vehicles have also been feeling the pinch, as the number plates also have to be changed.
This has forced many owners to continue using the particulars of the previous owners without following the laid down procedures.
A vehicle licence is pegged at R600 and the fees are paid at the council offices.
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