Taxi associations across the country have announced hikes in taxi fare by July the 1st approved by the SA Taxi Council (Santaco). This is after the enforced national lockdown by President Cyril Ramaphosa since March which has affected the taxi industry severely, a number of taxis were not operational and now that they are allowed to operate in alert level 3 of the lockdown they are still not allowed to carry full capacity, Taxi associations have raised concerns that most of their taxis are paying monthly installments, and they haven’t been making any profits, for roughly 3 months, which has caused a challenge in paying salaries.
Taxi associations in Alexandra have reported having hiked prices with almost 170% in the last weeks, and other taxi associations have threatened to take that route to recover from the national lockdown’s negative impact on the industry.
Meanwhile, MEC of Transport in Gauteng Jacob Mamabolo said there will be no taxi fare hiking in the next few weeks, as per their negotiations although he has stressed that he understood that taxi owner were under huge financial pressure.
After the Taxi associations were asked to bring in proposals on what would be the suitable solution for their financial backlog, They have come out and asked for an R20 000 per taxi every month to keep operations which equal to R4 Billions a month, Minister of Transports Fikile Mbalula has slammed their claims saying that the government already coffers money to assist other cash strapped projects. Mbalula also added that they should lower their expectations in this regard.
Santaco has refused the once-off payout of R1.1 billion from the government for financial relief and threatened a nationwide shutdown if the government did not meet their demands, Spokesperson of Sentaco Thabiso Molekwa argued that delays in relief strategies promised by the government had only increased tensions amongst taxi operators, Molekwa noted that consultations with Mbalula had not lived up to the industry’s expectations and they have vowed to proceed with the shutdown of all taxi services mainly in Gauteng.