Pretoria – South African commuters will have to dig deeper into their pockets as taxi fares increase following the fuel price.
The July increase has now tipped the cost of petrol to more than R25 per litre.
At the start of the year, South Africans were paying R19.71 for 95 unleaded petrol, and the same grade now costs R26.31 in July, representing a R6.60 increase since January.
In May, the chief strategic manager of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), Bafana Magagula, said the minibus taxi industry had no choice but to increase fares as the price of fuel continue to break record prices as it has in recent months.
“To be very honest with everyone, I think if South African are honest to the situation, they will understand that the taxi industry has taken a knock for too long now and it's unable to continue taking the knock,” Magagula said at the time.
In some areas around Gauteng, the fee hike was implemented on July 1, however, some areas are still lenient and will implement the increase on July 8 and others on July 15.
Most taxis have increased their fares by between R2 and R5.
The R2 applies in local trips and the R5 is for longer trips.
For an example, a taxi from Pretoria CBD to Joburg CBD was R50.00 and now costs R55.00
A trip from Pretoria CBD to Midrand including Mall of Africa, was R30 and it will now cost R35.
Meanwhile in Soweto, taxi fares to town have also been increased by R5.
However, Soweto taxi fares vary based on location, meaning it wont be the same price for everyone but all locations are now paying R5 more on top of what they were already paying.
Meanwhile, taxis which ferry commuters between Johannesburg CBD and surrounding areas, will increase its fares by between R2 and R4 from July 15.
Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has spoken against the spike in fuel price.
The civil organisation said South Africa has the highest fuel price compared to its neighbouring countries.
“This illustrates the influence of fuel levies.
“Outa has been calling for a restructuring of fuel price since 2017,” the organisation said on its Twitter page.
While the increases in fuel and food costs have been felt throughout the world, one of the underlying reasons behind the drive in the cost of living has been based on the price of crude oil.
Crude oil prices have been driven up due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with expectations that the price may stay high until the war is over.
The price of crude oil has shot up to around $120 per barrel mark, forcing South Africans to pay just over R20 per litre of petrol or diesel.
In efforts to reduce some of the financial stress felt by citizens, the state had cut some of the levies that contribute to the final pump price consumers pay, but it was not a permanent solution.