Taxi operators opt for 50 cent fare increase

Taxi operators opt for 50 cent fare increase

COMMUTERS in Windhoek will pay 50 cents more per trip from August 1, while those using long distance buses to Oshakati are likely to pay N$100, up from N$85.

A meeting of taxi operators decided yesterday afternoon to increase the taxi fare by 50 cents and not N$1 as initially thought. This means the new fare will be N$5,50 per trip.Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) acting National Secretary Sakkie Malima told The Namibian yesterday that they could not increase the Windhoek fares to N$6,00 because it would have been illegal.A N$1 per trip increase would have amounted to a 20 per cent hike which the law does not permit.Nabta would have needed to apply for special permission from the Ministry of Transport before implementing such an increase.”There was no guarantee that we could get the N$6,00 increase.The Ministry could have turned down the application altogether and we could have lost out,” Malima said.He said the long distance bus owners resolved at yesterday’s general meeting to increase their fares but still needed approval from the Ministry.It was proposed that the fares to and from Oshakati and Ondangwa be increased from N$85 to N$100.Nabta needed the approval of 51 per cent of its members to push forward with the increases.The last taxi fare increase was in 2001.Similar increases are expected for those travelling to the coast, south, east and north-eastern parts of the country.The increases follow a recent hike in fuel prices, which came into effect on Wednesday.It was the second increase in three months.With the latest increase, Namibians are, for the first time, paying more than N$4,00 for a litre of fuel.The pump prices of leaded petrol and unleaded petrol went up by 29 cents a litre while diesel increased by 28 cents per litre.In April the price of leaded and unleaded petrol jumped by 20 cents a litre while that of diesel went up by 17 cents a litre.Government attributes the sharp fuel price increases to the rise in the import parity price as a result of fluctuations in international crude oil prices.Malima said they were unable to ignore the latest petrol hikes.”We looked at many issues.For instance, there are too many taxis in Windhoek and taxis are running at a loss,” he said.He also claimed that some people used private bakkies to transport passengers and charged N$3,00 a trip.At yesterday’s meeting, members also demanded full-time staff at the Nabta office in Windhoek.Malima said the office would now operate from 08h00 to 17h00 with full-time staff.He called on operators to register with Nabta so that the office could generate needed funds to pay full-time staff.This means the new fare will be N$5,50 per trip.Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) acting National Secretary Sakkie Malima told The Namibian yesterday that they could not increase the Windhoek fares to N$6,00 because it would have been illegal.A N$1 per trip increase would have amounted to a 20 per cent hike which the law does not permit.Nabta would have needed to apply for special permission from the Ministry of Transport before implementing such an increase.”There was no guarantee that we could get the N$6,00 increase.The Ministry could have turned down the application altogether and we could have lost out,” Malima said.He said the long distance bus owners resolved at yesterday’s general meeting to increase their fares but still needed approval from the Ministry.It was proposed that the fares to and from Oshakati and Ondangwa be increased from N$85 to N$100.Nabta needed the approval of 51 per cent of its members to push forward with the increases.The last taxi fare increase was in 2001.Similar increases are expected for those travelling to the coast, south, east and north-eastern parts of the country.The increases follow a recent hike in fuel prices, which came into effect on Wednesday.It was the second increase in three months.With the latest increase, Namibians are, for the first time, paying more than N$4,00 for a litre of fuel.The pump prices of leaded petrol and unleaded petrol went up by 29 cents a litre while diesel increased by 28 cents per litre.In April the price of leaded and unleaded petrol jumped by 20 cents a litre while that of diesel went up by 17 cents a litre.Government attributes the sharp fuel price increases to the rise in the import parity price as a result of fluctuations in international crude oil prices.Malima said they were unable to ignore the latest petrol hikes.”We looked at many issues.For instance, there are too many taxis in Windhoek and taxis are running at a loss,” he said.He also claimed that some people used private bakkies to transport passengers and charged N$3,00 a trip.At yesterday’s meeting, members also demanded full-time staff at the Nabta office in Windhoek.Malima said the office would now operate from 08h00 to 17h00 with full-time staff.He called on operators to register with Nabta so that the office could generate needed funds to pay full-time staff.

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