- Taxi bodies have withdrawn decision to hike up taxi fare by over 100%
- The increase of up to 172% was announced last week and set to be put in place on 15 June
- The transport MEC said an agreement has been reached, however there is some disagreement between taxi associations
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The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and the National Taxi Council (NTC) in Gauteng have announced their decision to withdraw the taxi fare hike.
Last week the the Alexandra, Randburg, Midrand, Sandton Taxi Association (ARMSTA) announced that a trip from the township of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, would increase from R11 to R30 as from 15 June.
The 170% increase in the taxi fare was criticised by many South Africans, particularly because the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on the country's most vulnerable communities.
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SANTACO and NTC met Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo yesterday to discuss the matter. Mamabolo said:
"We have agreed that on the day that was set to be the day for the increase of the taxi fares, the 15th of June, there will be no taxi fare increase on that day."
Mamabolo said that after the agreement with the taxi bosses, he expects no fare hikes on 15 June , however, there might be a few defiant owners who might want to increase the fare but that is something beyond his level of leadership.
The fare hike was intended to help taxi owners recoup losses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown after taxi carrying capacity was reduced to 70%.
Briefly.co.za reported that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula issued a warning to taxi bosses about the hike, threatening to take the matter to the Competition Commission.
Mbalula added that they were working on a financial relief plan for the taxi industry.
However, there is discord between between the taxi associations. ARMSTRA Spokesperson John Mnisi said of the decision:
"We are under Top Six, not SANTACO. An announcement will be made on Friday about this issue."
Top Six is another regional structure that houses a number of other primary associations.
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