Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA) & Alexandra Randburg Midrand Sandton Taxi Association (ARMSTA) have come under fire from the public and department officials over a poster detailing an increase in taxi fare by 172% that made rounds on different social media.
The poster that is plucked at some of the taxis from Alexandra taxi association was seen last week and both the associations have come out to support it as according to them they haven’t received any relief fund from the government during this tough times.
The increase is abroad which means all taxi’s from Alexandra taxi ranks to other suburbs like Woodmead, Sandton, Randburg and them will be R30 from the normal R11, R13.
Speaking on Alex FM and Power FM the speaker for ATA Gabriel Mataboge said due to the lack of support from government they have no other option but to make up for the loss revenue during the lockdown “We’ve lost a lot of revenue due to COVID-19 lockdown and our government has been discussing the stimulus package with our structures but nothing fruitful has come from the discussions and we’ve realised there’s no money we will get.” Speaking on hardships faced by taxi drivers/owners during this time Mataboge said in a normal month an average of R15 800 can be made by a taxi but since COVID-19 lockdown it has scaled down to R3000.
Gauteng MEC for Transport Jacob Mamabolo said they weren’t consulted for this “I’m surprised it was not within our expectations, the announcement is sad and is transferring the financial burden to the commuters but we’ll make time this coming Wednesday to meet with both the associations to discuss this”.
Speaking for SANTACO Gauteng Midday Mali said they will be engaging with the associations and try to come out with a solution for this matter “ We need to meet with both the associations and talk about this as banks and garages have been harassing taxi owners about their monthly payments and they are now threatening to repossess the taxi’s if they fail to make payments.” Said Mali.
The issue of taxi industry not being regulated has come out again and people are asking as taxis are not paying tax so where should the money come from to relieve them. In their response the taxi industry says they are contributing a lot of money in terms of services for the taxis, buying the spares and pouring petrol.
The taxi fare increase is not final for now as the negotiations are yet to happen with structures representing commuters from Alexandra community and government.
It can be said that the commuters are not happy and they are threatening to stage an azikhwelwa if this increase is made final following the talks