Taxi fare hike set at R5 and R7 ceiling

Gauteng Santaco chairperson Johannes Mkhonza said the R5 and R7 is just the ceiling that has been set for the industry.
Gauteng Santaco chairperson Johannes Mkhonza said the R5 and R7 is just the ceiling that has been set for the industry.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Not every minibus taxi route in Gauteng will increase by R7 or R5 next month, but these have been set as limits for the industry in the province.

This is the message made by the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in Gauteng following an announcement of fare increases on Monday.

An impression was created by some of the new channels that all taxi fares would surge by R70 come July 1.

Gauteng Santaco chairperson Johannes Mkhonza said the R5 and R7 is just the ceiling that has been set for the industry.

“The taxi associations operating within municipal borders can increase between R4 and R5. These are, for example, taxis from Ivory Park to Kempton Park, which are local operations. Inter-metro such as from Vaal to Johannesburg CBD, from Tshwane Bosman Taxi Rank to Germiston, Ekurhuleni will increase with a maximum of R7.

“This will also depend on distance. For instance, from Vaal to Joburg CBD it is an inter-metro but it is also far, you can drive for 45 minutes. That increase will be capped at R7. Perhaps from Joburg CBD to Germiston, maybe the increase could be R5 depending on the distance,” Mkhonza said.

He added that taxi associations also have an option to increase fares by less than the amount that has been set by Santaco.

Mkhonza said taxi associations had no choice but to raise the fares as costs had increased substantially.

“Our members are battling to keep up with the installment of their vehicles. Instalments of the vehicles are between R15,000 and R16,000 (per month)… Everything has gone up. Spares, break pads, service, maintenance, insurance. We are trying to keep up with our operational cost,” he said.

Taxi fares in Gauteng have been a focal point over the past week after two taxi associations announced that they would be raising their fares by over 170% due to losses of the national lockdown.

Alexandra Taxi Assocation, which was one of the two, has since withdrawn the decision.

Commuter Thuli Sobhudula  said the increase will hit deep into her pocket but is grateful that it is not over 100% as initially thought.

Sobhudula travels from Malvern to Bree Taxi Rank and then from the inner city to Randburg where she works as a teacher daily.

If the taxi association in her route use the maximum increase of R5, her transport costs will surge by 40% to R70 a day.

“It is going to be hard for me. They have already cut my salary by 20%. It is going to be really difficult . Even with the payment holidays it is still difficult to pay for everything you need. We are in the middle of winter and we are spending more on electricity than usual. The fares will make it even more difficult for us,” said Sobhudula.

Another commuter, Ofentse Mokgara  who travels from Malvern to Johannesburg inner city and then to Cosmo City, echoed her sentiments.

“I think these guys are being greedy. Taxi operate on full capacity in our route, there is no such things as 10 people inside. They cannot be saying they are making losses.

“I have already taken a 30% salary cut and now I have to pay more for the taxis. It is really going to be difficult,” said Ofentse Mokgara.

Mokgara said he spends R930 on taxis a month. If the associations on his route use the maximum of R5, it will push his cost by 33.3% and he might spend more than R1000, just on transport.

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