Number plates backlog being cleared

Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter

The backlog in issuing number plates should be cleared by next month after which authorities do not expect to see any unregistered vehicle on the road as enough raw materials have been secured for the manufacture of the plates.

The planned clearance of the backlog will bring relief to motorists, some of whom were going for months without proper metal number plates and having to rely on the temporary cardboard issues. It will also help to reduce the number of people going about committing crimes using unregistered vehicles.

Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) head Mr George Makoni was upbeat on clearing the backlog yesterday following a tour of the Shamva tollgate along the Harare-Nyamapanda Road.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, his deputy Mike Madiro and officials from the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara), Central Vehicle Registry (CVR), Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) and CMED, also toured the Shamva tollgate.

Mr Makoni said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development managed to provide US$2,1 million by June this year to buy the raw materials for the number plates, which started arriving in August.

There were three batches, the first batch was airlifted by the Government to ease the shortage of number plates.

“We have 37 000 sets that came in three batches,” said Mr Makoni. “Another batch is expected end of November and that consignment is made up of all sizes of number plates and the total number is 115 500.”

Mr Makoni said people could quickly access number plates from wherever they were, especially at post offices countrywide.

Director of Transport Management in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development Dr Joseph Pedzapasi said: “What we have done so far after receiving a large consignment of number plates is to focus on clearing the backlog and thereafter, we will go and attend to other motorists.”

During the tour, Minister Mhona interacted with motorists to understand their challenges at tollgates and urged those without number plates to acquire them since they now had enough in stock.

By September last year, CVR had issued over 20 000 number plates since July 2020 and extended working hours as it battled to clear the backlog of nearly 50 000.

This emerged during a visit by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development to the CVR offices and manufacturing plant. Police and Zinara have joined hands in a drive to eliminate vehicles without number plates with an estimated 80 000 vehicles requiring plates.

Number plates cost US$80 and it takes two to five days to secure them.

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