Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Driving schools petition Govt as lockdown bites


…apply for exemptions
and tax holidays, TSCZ advises

Ratidzo Munembi

The Zimbabwe Driving
Schools Owners Association (ZDSOA) has written to the Traffic Safety Council of
Zimbabwe (TSCZ) seeking facilitation for the immediate reopening of the Vehicle
Inspectorate Department (VID).

The association, which
has a membership across the country, contends that the sustained closure of VID
services is driving them to bankruptcy, to the detriment of thousands of
employees.

In the letter, ZDSOA claims
the continued suspension of operations by at both TSCZ and VID was also putting
them at the risk of losing experienced instructors to other sectors thereby
impacting on the quality of future drivers.

“Driving school sector
falls in the category of formal sector and contributes to the fiscus in several
ways. It also benefits other sectors such as the fuel sector, spares shops and
vehicle repairs.

“On the other hand, our
sector is required to meet obligations such City Council shop licences, vehicle
insurance, certificates of fitness, learner’s liability, NSSA and ZIMRA
payments. We also have to pay office rentals, the parked vehicles are also
accumulating day and overnight parking fees.

“Our employees are
suffering due to non-payment of salaries. Instructor’s identity cards or
driving school certificates of registration are expiring and there is no
communication from your institution to inform us of a waiver on late renewals,”
reads part of the letter.

The organisation wants to
know the fate of such documents as provisional driver’s licences, motor vehicle
certificates of fitness, learner’s liability insurance and instructors’
identity cards or penalties, all of which cannot be regularised without the
input of TSCZ and VID.

When contacted for
comment, TSCZ acting managing director Clifford Gobo said it was not within the
ambit of his organisation to reopen VID.

“This is done by the
principal institution which is the Ministry of Transport. We acknowledge receipt
of their later outlining their concerns and we have forwarded them to higher
authorities. We are liaising with the ministry so that an amicable way forward
can be found,” said Gobo.

He also said it was
difficult to expect an immediate reopening of those services when coronavirus
cases are increasing in the country.

“How do you guarantee
that the learner driver you want to bring through the processes is free of the
virus and wouldn’t pass it on to others in the line of duty? We appreciate the
work being done by the government to ensure a cautious reopening of the economy
at the least possible risk. Our door remains open for further consultation,”
said Gobo.

On the issue of
financial obligations to such institutions as local authorities, Zimra and
Nssa, Gobo said the driving schools should look at possibilities of applying
for exemptions, waivers and tax holidays.

 

 

 

 

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TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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