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Taxi fare hike for city

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The cost of trips from Barkly Road would also go up. “Fares from Barkly Road to the township will be R10 across all borders.”

INCREASE: According to three local taxi associations in Kimberley, taxi commuters will from the start of November have to pay up to R3 more for their trips. Picture: Soraya Crowie

TAXI commuters in Kimberley will from the start of November have to pay up to R3 more for their trips.

This after three local taxi associations – Kimberley Taxi Association (KTA), Thusano Taxi Association (TTA) and Kimberley Local Taxi Association (KLTA) – said that after lengthy deliberations they had taken a unanimous decision to increase taxi fares.

The chairperson of KLTA, Thamsanqa Gabuza, said that the fares would increase from November 1 in order to afford associations enough time to inform commuters.

“Taxi fares will increase by between R2 and R3. Taxi fares from Galeshewe to the mall will be R15, while the cost from Galeshewe to town will be R10. Pupils will pay R10 but only if they are dressed in their school uniforms. The R10 fare for pupils is only for transportation from school to home or vice versa,” said Gabuza.

He added that the cost of trips from Barkly Road would also go up. “Fares from Barkly Road to the township will be R10 across all borders.”

Gabuza said the associations had decided to delay the implementation of the increase to November 1 in order to inform commuters timeously.

“We will be spreading the message on the fare increment on local radio stations and in newspapers and flyers will be distributed inside taxis and at taxi ranks to ensure that all commuters are informed. We have decided to give commuters more than a month to absorb the news.”

He said that although the associations understood that the fare increase would not be welcomed, they had been left with no other option.

“We do not like to push prices up and have total consideration for commuters. However, we are also affected by the same price hikes as community members. We do not want to cripple commuters or the industry and we have considered the needs of our passengers and how this will affect them. However, this is the first increase in more than eight years, where the taxi price in Kimberley has remained unchanged. It has become necessary to relook at the fares,” said Gabuza.

The chairperson of TTA, Xolisile Qalinge, said the increase also aimed at correct past mistakes.

“This is also a strategic increase and to rectify the mistake we made in the past. The fares for travelling to different locations in Galeshewe will not increase and will remain R10. This will also rectify the situation for people who are travelling to different locations in Galeshewe. In the past they were paying the same as commuters travelling to town. It was not a fair situation as commuters travelling short distances within the location were paying the same as those travelling all the way to town,” said Qalinge.

The Chairperson of KTA, Shaun Wilkinson, pointed out that the industry would run at a loss if they did not increase fares.

“We tried to avoid an increase in fares for a long time already and have dealt with the consequences thereof. However, we can no longer continue in this manner as we will end up bankrupt. We understand the needs of the commuters but we are not only affected by the increase of petrol but we also have to pay for the maintenance of our vehicles. Everything is costly and we also have to provide for our families,” said Wilkinson.

He said that they have not yet taken a decision on whether fares for routes in Roodepan would also be increased.

“There is no decision yet on whether routes in Roodepan will also go up but it is one of the matters that will be discussed at our next meeting. Routes to different locations in Roodepan will remain at R10 for everyone. The only parties who will be affected by this are school pupils as they previously used to pay R8,” said Wilkinson.