The Taxi industry is crying foul because it is not making enough profit as a result of the regulations in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Since the country was declared a State of Disaster, taxis were allowed to carry only 70% of passengers.
The Alexandra, Randburg, Midrand and Sandton Taxi Association (Armsta) has advertised a new fare that is 172% more than what it was previously. The association cites the increase in fuel price and pressures of operating under COVID-19 regulations as being reasons for the dramatic increase in taxi fare rates. That means from the 15th of June 2020 commuters going to the following places: Alexandra, Randburg, Midrand and Sandton, will have to pay R30 for a single trip instead of R11.
The taxi industry should consider the poor when they are hiking prices. This pandemic has affected us all, not only the taxi industry. There are people who have been without salaries since the lockdown was announced. So where does the industry expect commuters to get 172% more from? This ridiculous price hike will affect the poor and a lot of the companies are cutting salaries in response to their revenue losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula is alarmed by the increase in taxi fares and he has warned the taxi industry that current regulations prevent illegal profiteering. He said that he could be approaching the Competition Commission to assess if the fare prices are fair and justifiable.
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says it will address the matter following complaints from commuters and the public.
“Coincidentally, this comes when the leadership of Santaco will be meeting this week to discuss among others, the same subject a matter that is normally considered at this time of the year in the calendar of the taxi business,” it said.
An announcement on the decision will reportedly be made by no later than Thursday, 11 June.