The South African National Taxi Council has said it was blindsided that taxi associations in Alexandra Township were planning to increase fares from R11 to R30 for the ‘Alex to Sandton’ route.
Speaking on Monday in response to the uproar, Santaco’s Thabiso Mololekwa said the announcement came as a shock to them.
The Alexandra-Randburg-Midrand-Sandton Taxi Association (Armsta) and the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA) said on Sunday they would be implementing the new fares as of Monday, June 15. They added they had no choice but to take this measure, as it was the only way to remain operational, they said, citing government’s 70% limitations on minibus taxis.
They also said the government’s failure to provide relief for the industry and the recent petrol price increase, which came about after several petrol price decreases, were reasons for the fare adjustments.
Molelekwa said Santaco would have a meeting with the association to discuss the issue and the proposed fare increase may not be implemented as planned.
“This (the proposed hike) can still change. Santaco will speak to the associations as this could be seen as illegal profiteering and this is what we are guarding against. We are concerned that this has been received with uproar and shock.
“It is illegal to increase fares during the lockdown even if it can be justified. We need to understand that the taxi industry is transporting people who got salary cuts and others lost their jobs.
“We believe the association will reconsider and want to say to Alex people, can they allow the process to run through? Santaco will get back to them again,” Molelekwa said.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said he was to refer the matter to the Competition Commission to asses if the fare increase was fair and justifiable.
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