Petrol price hikes lead to taxi increase
THE recent petrol price increase is set to hit commuters' pockets as taxi operators prepare to hike their fares at the end of the month.
Gauteng Taxi Council (Gataco) spokesman Ralph Jones said that taxi commuters travelling long distances to and from the city must prepare for price hikes of up to R20 a single trip.
Jones said local operations in and around Gauteng would also be affected.
"It has become difficult to do business with the petrol price always on the rise. We can no longer afford to pay our vehicle instalments and we do not get a subsidy from the government. We have become a charity organisation.
"We are still holding meetings to discuss the price increases, but the estimation is that local operations could be increased by R1 or R2 - in some areas by R5. But those travelling long distances could pay R10 or R20 more."
Commuters to be affected in local operations are those from the south of Johannesburg, Midrand, Randburg, Clearwater and the East Rand.
Jones said the new price list would be available on the 15th of this month.
"We have given taxi associations a framework to work on considering distances," Jones said.
A local taxi trip from Zola in Soweto to Johannesburg inner city costs R9,50. With the proposed new price structure, this would be R10.50.
A taxi trip from Johannesburg to Polokwane is R170 and would go up R10.
The petrol price increased by 28c to R12,22 a litre last Wednesday.
The envisaged taxi price hikes follow increases in train fares in April which went up a national average of 27%.
Also expected to go up on July 1 are bus operators' prices.
Putco and Johannesburg Metrobus companies said they had not finalised the increase percentages, but confirmed that they increased their prices every July.
South African Commuter Organisation president Stephen Sangweni said it had had meetings with taxi organisations to discuss the matter.
"They explained to us how they are planning to increase the fares and it is difficult to convince them not to do so because taxis are not subsidised.
"But bus operators have not spoken to us and we will not allow them to increase prices before we meet," he said.