Taxi commuters to pay an additional R5 in fare from Friday

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Commuters who take mini-bus taxis will have to pay more starting on Friday. Some trips will cost up to R5 more. The rapidly rising fuel price is now having an impact on the short-distance taxi industry.

This is the biggest single hike in fares in this industry up to date. Taxi owners say the increase was inevitable as their input costs are going up while they monthly vehicle payments to honour.

Taxi owner Joseph Mente says a lot of money is being lost.

“We are losing almost 30% from the money that we made before, now we are losing a lot of money that we cannot even pay the driver. I drive myself as the owner. I am an old man; I am over 60 but I am driving myself. Because of the petrol hike, many taxis are being repossessed due to the hike in petrol.”

Taxi drivers Asanda Tshawuka and Sivuyile Pali say they are also affected by the hikes.

“This has caused problems between us drivers and our employers because more money goes to petrol than what we deposit to them in the bank.”

“It affects us because of the people we transport. R100 gets you 4 litres and R200 is 8 litres and that is not even a quarter tank. That forces us to increase prices for people who are already struggling.”

Commuters reeling

The fare price hike is a hard pill to swallow for already cash-strapped commuters. “I used to pay R21, now I am paying R24. our salaries do not increase. Our employers do not understand. Half of my salary goes to transport.”

“It is too much and we can’t afford it. Our wages and salaries are not increasing and we’ve got problems. We’ve got children, we’ve got food to buy, electricity, water – everything is increasing.”

“That was expected actually, that the prices will go up for taxis as everything went up. I just wish our employers have got the message and maybe do something to help us as well because it is costing everyone and everything.” -Report by Mcebisi Slengile