News24 08 June 2020

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has announced a price fare increase which will impact every association across the country.

Speaking to News24, Santaco secretary Ralph Jones said the industry would be forced to implement an increase  from R13 to R30 – as of 15 June, as the lockdown had impacted harshly on business.

Due to Covid-19 regulations limiting the number of people allowed in a taxi, operators had lost a substantial amount of money, Jones said.

He added that government had not compensated or subsidised associations, as relief funds were never handed out.

“The government started to make noise, saying there was a relief fund for the taxi industry, which was never done.

“Because of that our cars are being repossessed, our drivers are not working because they are fighting with the operators or their owners, and petrol is expensive,” Jones said.

He added that commuters should not be scared by figures of percentage increases, saying he understood commuters were experiencing tough economic hardship, but that the industry was in the same position.

“We understand that some people are not working, and people are going to lose their jobs as well. From our side, it will be the same thing,” Jones said.

“This thing affects all of us and especially long distance operations.”

He added that the government have not come to the table to discuss how either the industry or commuters could be subsidised during this time.

“Government need to think outside the box and see how best they can come to table. We don’t want to go against government or the president but we are losing business and if someone can come with a better idea, so be it,” Jones said.

Fin24 previously reported on the planned hike, saying Santaco had ealier asked government for compensation of R250 a day for taxi operators due to the losses they suffered in the lockdown.

The industry has seen a drop in commuters since the beginning of the lockdown in March, Fin24 said.

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