Protest against taxi fare hikes

2012-06-01 00:00

RESIDENTS of Nkanyezini, in Camperdown, Vulindlela and other areas will protest over taxi fare increases which come into effect today.

Fares are expected to increase by R1 for local trips and by R2 to R4 for longer distances from the district to Pietermaritzburg.

Locals are opposed to the increases and said they will take to the streets to protest.

Msunduzi One Taxi Association spokesperson Boy Zondi said they met the communities which have problems with the increases.

“We are in discussions with them, but they will have to cough up the stipulated new fares while we’re trying to come up with a solution. Taxi owners are operating at a loss because vehicles need to be maintained and spares are expensive,” he said.

Zondi said they had given residents sufficient warning of the new fares via flyers.

Thulani Mlambo, uMgungundlovu region deputy chairperson of the Public Transport Passengers organisation, said they met the Nkanyezini and regional taxi associations, but the meeting was unfruitful.

He said commuters are demanding a R3 increase instead of the R4 the taxi owners are imposing for a trip from Nkanyezini to the CBD.

“Taxis are often overloaded, some don’t have permits to operate and many offer a poor service. Taxi bosses are forcing communities to pay money they don’t have,” said Mlambo, adding that commuters would protest against the increases.

Vulindlela residents will pay R2,50. Residents of Mnyandu, Gezubuso and Elands­kop face hikes of R2.

A daily return trip from Wartburg to Pietermaritzburg would now increase to R60, or R1 200 a month.

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