Owners of temporary structures on road reserves in Kenyan cities will be required to pay a minimum fee of Sh3,000 daily under proposed regulations that will also allow the government to lease road reserve space.

A section of Mombasa road Nairobi photo

In order to control the renting of road reserves, the government has suggested strict laws that would require hustlers to pay Sh3,000 per day for temporary buildings located inside cities.

In addition, Kenyans would have to pay a one-time charge of Sh50,000 in order to be permitted to divert rainwater into drainage systems on public roads.

The Ministry of Roads and Transport's proposed Kenya Roads (Roadside Stations) Regulations, 2023, include the additional fees.

Kenyans are already suffering from increased taxes, declining salaries, and less purchasing power; these new charges will only make their situation worse.

In addition to the current county government levies that Kenyans are required to pay, merchants and businesses will also be responsible for paying the additional taxes.

The temporary habitation, which may last up to six months, would cost Sh100 per square metre every day if the rules are approved by Parliament.

If the merchants want to run their operations on a road within a city, they will pay a minimum of Sh3,000.

For roadway reserves outside of cities, the government would levy Sh50 per square metre per day, with a minimum of Sh1,000 per day.

Application, processing, and administrative costs of Sh55,000 are required for the short-term lease of road reserve space, which may last anywhere from six months to four years.

Once again, traders will be required to pay an annual rent escalation rate of five percent on top of the rent equal to fifteen percent of the unimproved site value.

In addition, the Kenya National Highways Authority is suggesting that anybody wishing to build access roads to their own property pay a one-time cost of Sh50,000.

The Sh5,000 application cost is not included in this.

The one-time cost for those wishing to build access roads or lanes to their gas stations is Sh200,000.

As part of the levies being suggested for roadside improvements, which include accessing any section of the vast road reserves around the nation, the payments will be applicable to classes A and B.

"A business owner may, upon completion of the appropriate fee, apply to the Director General of the Roads Authority for approval to construct a road to reach his premises," according to the proposed rules.

Per the rules, an application fee of Sh5,000 must be paid in order to build an access road to a department store, shopping mall, or similar establishment.

If permission is given, there will be a one-time fee of Sh300,000 after this.

Simultaneously, KeNHA would let enterprises and private individuals lease road reserve areas for a maximum of 29 years.

Road reserve leases in cities with terms ranging from 10 to 29 years would require applicants to pay application, processing, and administrative costs totaling Sh420,000.

Outside of cities, there will be fees of Sh330,000.

After that, a standby premium of 15% of the unimproved site value will be charged for the long-term lease. After that, an annual rent payment equal to 10% of the unimproved site value would be due.

Additionally, there will be 15% rent progression costs for the unimproved site value every five years.

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