NATIONAL NEWS - The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in Gauteng has announced that taxi fares will increase by R7 between metropolitan areas from 1 July across the province.
Santaco also said that long-distance trips across provinces would increase by R50 while local trips would increase by R4 to R5 in the process.
This comes after it was announced that fares were expected to increase between 10% and 25% nationwide.
The association was expected to meet with several representatives from different associations to discuss the expected fare increase on Monday after the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA) reconsidered their initial decision for a 172% increase on taxi fares.
Santaco secretary Ralph Jones had initially 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.
Jones said while Santaco sympathized with commuters, the fare increases would impact every association around the country from Monday.
“Due to Covid-19 regulations limiting the number of people allowed in a taxi, operators have lost a substantial amount of money. Government has 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,” he said.
Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa said on Wednesday that the council intended to highlight their desired way forward, while government remained mum on how relief could be provided to their sector.
Molelekwa told Moneyweb on Thursday that since lockdown was implemented, the taxi industry had been operating at a loss.
Sunday Times reported that suggested relief funds amounting to over R1 billion were rejected by Santaco, who instead said taxi owners needed R20,000 per taxi per month that lockdown has been in place. This would total R4 billion, the publication said, adding that a final figure had not yet been given by Santaco.
It was also reported that Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula may reconsider the current 70% capacity regulation.