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Taxi fare hikes in Gauteng capped at R5 and R7

17 June 2020 - 07:15 By Penwell Dlamini
Gauteng Santaco has placed a ceiling of between R5 and R7 for taxi fare increases expected from July 1.
Gauteng Santaco has placed a ceiling of between R5 and R7 for taxi fare increases expected from July 1.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Not every minibus taxi route in Gauteng will increase by R7 or R5 next month, but these have been set as limits for the industry in the province.

This is the message made by the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) in Gauteng after an announcement on Monday of fare increases, effective from July 1.

Gauteng Santaco chairperson Johannes Mkhonza said: “The taxi associations operating within municipal borders can increase between R4 and R5. These are, for example, taxis from Ivory Park to Kempton Park, which are local operations. Inter-metro such as from Vaal to Johannesburg CBD, from Tshwane Bosman Taxi Rank to Germiston, Ekurhuleni, will increase with a maximum of R7.”

“This will also depend on distance. For instance, from Vaal to Joburg CBD it is an inter-metro but it is also far, you can drive for 45 minutes. That increase will be capped at R7. Perhaps from Joburg CBD to Germiston, maybe the increase could be R5 depending on the distance,” Mkhonza said.

Mkhonza said taxi associations had no choice but to raise the fares as costs had increased substantially.

“Our members are battling to keep up with the instalment of their vehicles. Instalments of the vehicles are between R15,000 and R16,000 (per month) ... Everything has gone up. Spares, break pads, service, maintenance, insurance. We are trying to keep up with our operational costs,” he said.

Taxi fares in Gauteng have been a focal point over the past week after two taxi associations had announced that they would be raising their fares by over 170% due to losses owing to the national lockdown. Regulations limited the number of passengers they could transport and times they could operate. Alexandra Taxi Association, which was one of the two, has since withdrawn the decision.

Commuter Thuli Sobhudula said the increase will hit her pocket but is grateful that it is not over 100% as initially thought.

Sobhudula travels from Malvern to Bree Taxi Rank and then from the inner city to Randburg where she works as a teacher daily.

If the taxi association on her route increases prices by R5, her transport costs will increase to R70 a day.

“It is going to be hard for me. They have already cut my salary by 20%. It is going to be really difficult. Even with the payment holidays it is still difficult to pay for everything you need. We are in the middle of winter and we are spending more on electricity than usual. The fares will make it even more difficult for us,” said Sobhudula.

Another commuter, Ofentse Mokgara, who travels from Malvern to Johannesburg inner city and then to Cosmo City, already spends R930 on taxis a month.

“I think these guys are being greedy. Taxis operate on full capacity in our route, there is no such things as 10 people inside. They cannot be saying they are making losses.

“I have already taken a 30% salary cut and now I have to pay more for the taxis. It is really going to be difficult,” said Mokgara.