Durban — The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in KwaZulu-Natal has indicated that the taxi fare increase in the province would be a long-term resolution, and it did not aim to dig deep into commuters’ pockets.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Santaco KZN said its leadership took a resolution eight years ago to raise taxi fares on July 1, annually. It was decided that all 246 associations throughout the province would only increase taxi fares once a year regardless of fuel price increases, motor spares and all transportation costs.
Santaco KZN said the taxi industry was a self-sustaining industry which was a leader in the mass transportation service, moving all South Africans in a continuously improving transport service that is affordable, safe and reliable.
“Associations have engaged with community leaders and agreed on reasonable amounts. The commuters are urged to accept the new fares, taking into consideration that Santaco also empowers the communities through the Hlokomela campaign,” Santaco KZN said.
The council, on behalf of all taxi operators in KZN, thanked all commuters for their continued support.
However, reacting on Facebook, Santaco’s statement did not go down well with commuters.
Sfisile Ka Dlamini Thwala said she would gladly wait for a bus, and many commuters would be going back to taking trains.
She said Santaco was greedy and would starve because of it since they refused to shut down the country, but they expected people to support and accept the ridiculous increase in taxi fares.
Xolisizwe Usher KamaSishi Zondie said nobody was trying to save the country or its citizens. It was every man for himself.
Meanwhile, Charlie Mingaz said he did not understand why people wanted Santaco to fight the government for them and why people failed to fight the government on their own. They marched against Nxamalala (Jacob Zuma), and now they wanted Santaco to march for them.
Carmel Ward said she did not mind the increase if only they sorted out their rotten, unroadworthy taxis and stopped overloading.
“We pay full fare only to get these greedy drivers picking up more people that end up standing and breathing on top of you! Those Morningside taxis from Field Street are famous for this nonsense, yet there are so many taxis that one driver ends up with six extra passengers whilst the other gets six fewer because of the other's greed!! Mynah, Uber and Bolt will be my name.”
In February, Santaco KZN decided to review its decision to suspend fare increases after the announcement of another fuel price increase.
This was after the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announced yet another massive fuel increase from midnight on March 2.