Taxi fare hike in the offing

Minibus taxi commuters should brace themselves for an increase in taxi fares because of the increase in the petrol price, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said yesterday.

Minibus taxi commuters should brace themselves for an increase in taxi fares because of the increase in the petrol price, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said yesterday.

"We are pressed and we can no longer afford petrol prices. We are forced to put our hands in the commuters' pockets," said Santaco general secretary Philip Taaibosch.

Taaibosch was addressing reporters in Pretoria at a briefing intended to address the government's taxi recapitalisation plan.

But, Taaibosch could not brief reporters about the programme, saying only that he had received advice from the council's legal experts. "I cannot elaborate any further," he said.

It was not known by how much taxi fares would go up as this was to be decided by individual taxi associations. He said fares, which had increased on March 1, would be "intensified" by March 17.

Touching on whether the government was to subsidise the industry, Taaibosch said there had been no discussions between the council and the government.

He added that he had received a subsidy blueprint from the transport department last week.

Santaco also offered an apology to Nwabisa Ngcukana, who was stripped naked and sexually assaulted by taxi drivers. The incident happened at Johannesburg's Noord Street taxi rank. She had been wearing a miniskirt. - Sapa

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