Sigh of relief for commuters

2018-07-04 06:01

Commuters in the greater Mangaung Metro using Interstate Bus Lines (IBL) as their main transport, got money back in their pockets after tariff hikes in fares was reduced to 6% – a hike of 7,5% was initially proposed.

The approved hike in fares was effective on 1 July – it is even lower than that of 2017, the 6,5% which IBL introduced after violent protest by unhappy passengers.

Last year IBL increased fares by 9%, but this was later forcibly reduced after passengers who felt it was not affordable went on a rampage.

The 6% increase followed consultation with stakeholders, IBL management, the provincial Department of Roads and Transport, the Joint Route Management Committee and the Passengers Focus Group, a body representing commuters.

IBL stated that the 6% had been approved after discussions with stakeholders that considered and assessed South Africa’s ailing economic. The approved hike was reportedly granted on 26 June by the MEC for police, roads and transport, Sam Mashinini.

The 6% is versus an increase of 9% in IBL’s expenses and also the current South African inflation rate of 4,4%.

George Mokgothu, IBL’s chief executive officer, earlier pointed that the cancelled 7,5% hike had been far below the 11% hike the company was entitled to, based on calculation.

He explained that government subsidy increased by 3,2% for 2018-’19, lower than the 5,2% in 2017-’18.

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