Nakathingo explains taxi fare hike

By Tatenda Tracy Tafirenyika

The secretary general of the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA), Pendapala Nakathingo, has clarified the motive behind the increase in taxi fares, saying it is just a temporary measure.

Speaking to Confidente this week, Nakathingo explained that the increase in fares was implemented to support the taxi industry, which was adversely hit by Covid-19 restrictions.

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He highlighted that the N taxi fare, which will only be implemented for the state of emergency period, will assist taxis that have seen a huge decrease in passenger numbers, as people are not travelling as often as normal during the state of emergency.

“The price list is not yet out but to avoid conflict between passengers and taxi drivers, taxi drivers should not force passengers to pay the N taxi fare if they do not have the price list.

I can confirm to you that there is no motive behind the increase of taxi fare. It is not only taxis that have been affected by this pandemic but busses as well.

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“Taxi drivers are still left empty-handed, they are getting nothing and they only depend on the taxi money that they work for. A large part of these taxi drivers are not enrolled in any government managed savings [scheme] and most of them are not having [finances]. The only way to attend to them and meet them halfway is to increase the taxi fare,” Nakathingo argued.

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He added that when the state of emergency is over prices should revert back to normal.

On 11 May, the Ministry of Works and Transport released a statement on the tariff increase during Stage 2 of the state of emergency. A consultative meeting was held on 8 May where the request from three industry representatives was to increase tariffs to make up for the fact that operators can only fill busses and taxis up to 50 percent.

Nakathingo has urged commuters to adhere to the rule and pay up.