The decision was announced by the Metropolitan Transport Agency of Maputo City (AMTM) which said the subsidy policy will last six months and assured that there will be no change in the current transport fares.
AMTM Director Antonio Matos told the press that “The government's concern is the passenger, it's the citizen. Right now, 40 million U.S. dollars are already available to cover the costs.”
National Director for Transport and Communications and Spokesman for the Transport Ministry Osorio Sitoe said in a press conference that “while the subsidy for passengers is prepared, the state will subsidize the carriers.”
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi announced last week that the subsidy for passengers will be supported by the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the IMF, but the president’s spokesman left details of amounts for later and noted that negotiations are still ongoing.
According to the Leader of the Mozambican Federation of Road Transport Associations (FEMARTO) Castigo Nhamane, the decision allows the vehicles to start operating again without giving further details about the amounts.
“Within two or three days, we will finish technical details, the minister of transport and communications has already appointed a team that is working with us so that within two or three days we have the matter closed.” Nhamane said.
Police was deployed at the main bus stations, such as Xipamanine, Xiquelene, Compone, and Malhazine. Some buses tried to break through the strike, but were prevented by their colleagues who demanded the removal of the passengers on board.
In 2008 and 2010, the increase in the price of road transport, accompanied by a rise in the cost of essential goods and services led to popular uprisings in some of the country’s main cities, resulting in clashes with the police and destruction in some places.
In the latest price adjustment announced by the National Energy Regulatory Authority last Friday, petrol price rose from 83.30 meticais (about 1.32 U.S. dollars) per liter to 86.97 meticais and diesel price rose from 78.97 meticais to 87.97 meticais. The cooking gas price was also up by almost 20%.