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Travelling by road? Here are the best payment options to get past tollgates

   
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It’s the festive season and even in a pandemic year, Zimbabweans will travel back home or to a holiday destination to kick back and relax. For most of us, this usually means going by road and the one thing we will all encounter on any long trip are tollgates. Navigating tollgates is a simple enough affair when things are working well. But according to some of the reports we have received things aren’t going as smoothly as they should.

People travelling on highways across Zimbabwe have been experiencing challenges paying toll fees with bank cards. The issue is reportedly being caused by network fluctuations.

In light of this, we thought it would be prudent to list some payment options that will get you past a tollgate with minimal fuss.

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The options are listed from the most convenient to the least:

Cash

Physical currency will always be king. It requires nothing else but to transfer from one person to another to complete a transaction. Cash is by far the best option to use when you get to a tollgate.

But… Cash is extremely hard to come by or acquire, so maybe the next option is a little easier.

ZINARA tollgate card

I am pretty sure there are many of you who are already aware of this solution. But for those who aren’t, this is a card that ZINARA created in conjunction with ICECASH that allows you to load money specifically to pass tollgates. This card works within the ZINARA system so it’s unlikely that you will experience any issues using it to pay your toll fee.

You can get one by visiting anyone of one of ZINARA’s offices nationwide (locations are in the link here). All you’ll need to acquire your card is a copy of your ID and a minimum deposit of ZWL$500.00 and you are good to go.

ZINARA also says that you can get one at any of the tollgates along the highways, but availability may be an issue. So to be safe its probably best to get one before you head off on your journey.

EcoCash

There are two ways you can pay using EcoCash, the first is loading money into a tollgate wallet and the second is paying the merchant directly.

Loading funds into an EcoCash tollgate wallet

  1. Dial *151# to access EcoCash and enter pin to log in
  2. Make Payment (option 2)
  3. Select Regular Payment (option 6)
  4. Pay Toll Gates (option 3)
  5. Select Load Tollgate Account (option 3)
  6. Enter the amount you want to add and submit
  7. Once you’ve reached this step, you have successfully funded your tollgate account, otherwise, contact EcoCash support for help

After completing these steps the amount that you enter will be deducted from your EcoCash wallet. To make a payment when you get to a tollgate all you’ll need to do is to inform the attendant that you are paying using funds from your EcoCash prepaid tollgate account. They will ask for your number and check if your vehicle is registered. If all of that checks out, the money will be deducted from your tollgate wallet and you’ll be on your way.

A regular EcoCash merchant payment

This is similar to any other EcoCash payment that you would do in a store. The ZINARA tollgate attendant will ask for your number to start the process. They will then enter the amount and all you have to do is enter your pin to confirm the transaction.

Paying using a merchant code is subject to network availability and if there is a fluctuation in coverage then it might be challenging to complete your payment.

Bank cards

With what we have been hearing bank cards should be the last option on your list. The Harare – Mutare Highway is where most of the reports have been coming from but this doesn’t mean that if you are travelling on another highway you won’t face similar problems paying with a bank card at tollgates.

Just to be safe, its probably best to have a ZINARA tollgate card or cash in hand before you set off. Below are the tollgate fees so that you know how much you’ll need before you head out.

Tollgate fees

Type of Vehicle Fee (ZWL$)
Light Vehicles120.00
Minibuses180.00
Buses240.00
Heavy Vehicles300.00
Haulage Trucks590.00
Residential Discount600.00


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