Photo: SAfm / Twitter

Santaco meet with taxi executives: No word on new fare hike

Santaco have confirmed that the proposed 173% fare increase has been scrapped, saying that they will speak about the new fare on Friday.


Photo: SAfm / Twitter

Discussions between the South African National Taxi Association (Santaco) and the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA) in Gauteng has concluded on Wednesday 10 June, with Santaco having confirmed that yesterday’s plans to increase fares by over 150% have been scrapped. 

The governing body met with the taxi association to consider a revised fare increase, which they want to go ahead with in order to mitigate the losses the industry has faced as they operate at 70% capacity during the nationwide lockdown. 

Provincial shutdown still to be confirmed  

After declaring on Tuesday 9 June that Santaco would be embarking on a provincial shutdown on 22 June should they not be made the beneficiaries of government’s relief funding for sectors affected by the pandemic, there is no more official comment from President Phillip Taaibosch on the matter, although Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Jacob Mamabolo did confirm that the price hike would be delayed. 

“There will be a follow-up meeting with Gauteng Taxi Association and Santaco to further discuss various issues affecting the sector,” he said. 

The announcement of the 175% increase in fare prices on Tuesday sent shockwave around commuters in Gaunteg, with the scrapped decision having meant that they would need to pay R60 rand for a return trip from the Alexandra informal settlement to Sandton instead of the usual R22 for he round trip. 

Santaco are desperately trying to recoup some of their losses after their industry suffered immensely during the lockdown, and have said that despite their informal business structure, they should be included in government’s efforts to provide relief funding to South Africa’s most vulnerable business sectors. 

“With regard to the relief fund, we will be doing a shutdown on the 22 June if the relief fund is not announced by that time,” Taaibosch said on Tuesday. 

Taxis still operating at limited capacity 

Santaco will now hold discussions with the Department of transport and minister Fikile Mbalula, who has remained fairly quiet on the issue of taxi compensation during the latest level of lockdown. 

They are expected to make an announcement on the progress made between themselves and various other stakeholders involved in the issue on Friday 12 June. 

Taxis are still mandated to perform regular sanitation protocols and carry a maximum of 70% of their usual passenger capacity during Alert Level 3 lockdown.