Fees for using the N4 toll road linking Maputo to Witbank in South Africa are set to rise on 1 March 2006, Mozambiques national roads administration has said. Tolls for light vehicles at the Maputo tollgate at Matola just outside the capital will increase from 14,500 to 17,500 meticais, or 20.7 per cent; levvies for medium cargo vehicles will be 58,000 instead of 48,000 meticais (+20.8 per cent) and for heavy goods vehicles 174,000 rather than 142,000 meticais (+22.5 per cent). At the Moamba tollgate, about 60 km northwest of Maputo, the fee for light vehicles will rise from 77,000 to 95,000 meticais, or 28.6 per cent, and for the heaviest vehicles from 575,000 to 707,000 meticais, or 23 per cent.

The fees are reviewed annually as part of the agreement between the Mozambican government and the South African concessionaire TRAC (Trans African Concessions), which built and operates the 503-km motorway. However, Mozambican news sources point out that the rise is well above the country's 14 per cent rate of inflation in 2005. The same sources predict that the net effect will be to push local traffic off the toll road onto alternative routes, leading to longer journey times and congestion.

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