'Do not expect food, transport costs to fall'

Kea' Modimoeng

Kea' Modimoeng

Consumers are calling for a reduction in the food prices and public transport fares now that the price of fuel has dropped so significantly.

They say it only makes sense since prices are hiked when the fuel prices rise. But public transport bosses say commuters will not be seeing a reduction in fares soon.

Philip Taaibosch, general secretary of the South African National Taxi Council, said there won't be a drop in taxi fares especially if inflation is still high.

He said: "We understand the concern of commuters but it should be understood that the rise in taxi fares is based on a collective package, which includes the cost of tyres and the high maintenance costs.

"If we followed the strategy of increasing fares based on the petrol price, then I think taxi fares in this country would be so high that no commuter would afford them."

Thami Bolani, chairman of the National Consumer Forum, said there were expectations that the food prices would come down in the next few months.

Bolani said it was also important for consumers to understand that there are many other factors that contribute to the rise in food prices - including the support that farmers get from government, and the general performance of the currency.