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Taxi fares to increase

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At least one taxi association in Kimberley, Thusano Taxi Association (TTA), will be hiking its fares at the end of the month

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THE MASSIVE increase in the price of petrol over the past few months has seen taxi associations in Kimberley caught between a rock and a hard place as they try to keep commuters satisfied, while at the same time not running at a loss.

At least one taxi association in Kimberley, Thusano Taxi Association (TTA), will be hiking its fares at the end of the month.

The chairperson of TTA, Xolisile Qalinge, said yesterday that they were forced to increase their fares after many years.

“We have already taken a resolution at our general meeting last month that the price of routes from the location to the local malls and Gariep hospital will increase by R3. Trips to the Pavilion Mall, North Cape Mall and the Gariep Hospital will no longer be R12 but R15. The price of R12 will, however, remain unchanged for pupils and children under six years. The increase will only affect commuters travelling from Galeshewe to the mall. The increase will come into effect at the end of this month but we will inform commuters in time through flyers and notifications inside the taxis.

“No decision has yet been taken on whether the fares on the routes from the location to town will increase, as we share these routes with other taxi associations and a collective decision must be taken.”

Qalinge said that they had considered all aspects before coming to this decision.

“The last taxi fare increase was in 2013 or 2014. Since then the taxi fares have remained unchanged. Commuters must also understand that because we are increasing fares now it does not mean we will do so again next year. We are understanding of their plight as well. However, we cannot shoot ourselves in the foot and the increase is small enough that it will not cripple our commuters.”

The public relations officer of the Kimberley Taxi Association (KTA), Clifford Lewis, said that from their side, there had been no decision to increase fares.

“We are sharing the route with the Thusano Taxi Association as well as Kimberley Local Taxi Association. All three associations will have to first meet and decide on whether there should be an increase. The one association cannot make such a decision without the input of the others,” said Williams.

He added that taxi operators were feeling the pinch of the petrol hike and some taxi owners were struggling to survive.

“It has been years since we had an increase. However, we have to consider our commuters as well. Some taxi owners are struggling to meet the instalments on their taxis because everything is so expensive. We have to, however, also consider the needs of our commuters.”

The chairperson of Kimberley Local Taxi Association (KLTA), Thamsanqa Gabuza, shared the same sentiments.

“We will first have to get together and decide on how much fares should be increased and the date that any proposed increased will be implemented from.

“So far there have been no such meetings. It is also important that we consult with commuters as they are our customers. We do feel the pressure of the economy but we have to consider our commuters too as they are also living under tough economic conditions,” Gabuza said.