- Stranded commuters in Cape Town have complained that some taxi drivers started overcharging them during the ongoing bus strike
- The Bellville Taxi Association confirmed an investigation has been launched after they received complaints
- Commuters said a trip which normally cost R12.50 suddenly cost R20 and the taxi was overloaded
Angry commuters have raised the alarm that some minibus taxi drivers were taking advantage of stranded commuters by overcharging them during the ongoing national bus strike. The Bellville Taxi association confirmed it had launched an investigation into the matter after receiving complaints.
Kraaifontein resident Melanie Ohlsson travels by taxi to Bellville where she takes a bus to work in Maitland. She said a trip which normally costs R12.50 suddenly cost R20. Melanie added that the taxi was overloaded and people were cramped.
Melanie said she had to wait for hours for the taxi to arrive and once it did it was overloaded within minutes. She says the driver only made his demand for the increased fare once they had gotten underway, which meant she and the other passengers were forced to pay the inflated price.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the Bellville Taxi Association has slammed reports of drivers behaving in this manner. The association said: “We condemn this behaviour as taxi drivers are not allowed to overcharge commuters.”
The association said taxi fares only increased at night, never in the morning or during the day.
The association has requested anyone who lodges a complaint of this nature to take note of the taxi’s registration number. Without this information, it becomes difficult if not impossible to identify the driver responsible.
Meanwhile, Melanie said she and her friends would rather make use of the train service, but due to its unreliability, this was not an option for them.
The bus strike entered its first full week on Tuesday. Unions have dropped their wage demand from the initial 12% to 9.5% while employers have upped their original offer from 7% to 8%.
Unions representing bus drivers said talks would resume today.
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