MASERU — The government has increased passport fees by 300 percent, according to the government gazette.
This follows the launch of electronic passports by Minister of Home Affairs, Joang Molapo.
The review means that Basotho will now have to fork-out M400 for a regular 32-page passport.
The newly introduced 64-page passport will cost M550 while it will cost M800 to replace a lost, stolen or damaged regular passport.
The cost of replacing a 64-page passport is a massive M1 100. Those who want their passport in three days will pay an extra M150.
An additional M300 will be charged for a passport to be processed within 24 hours.
The review is being done under the Lesotho Passports and Travel Documents (Fees) Regulations of 2013 which repeals the legal Notice No. 152 of 2004.
Speaking to the Lesotho Times yesterday, Joang Molapo said his ministry wants Basotho to understand a passport is a valuable document they should keep safe all times.
He further explained that while the passport is important for travel purposes, the national identification document was most essential.
“The passport is for travel purposes only and I must say that we are proud to announce that we now have an internationally recognised electronic passport.
“At the same time, we would also want to impart more education that would help change the mindset that says, the passport is more important when in fact our national identification document is more valuable,” Molapo said.
At a recent press conference the minister, among other factors, attributed many people’s tendency to easily lose their travel document to low passport application charges.
Meanwhile, speaking to Lesotho Times the Ministry’s Principal Secretary Ranthomeng Matete yesterday said the new fees are subject to approval by Parliament.