Page 3

NEWS

Tuesday 10 April 2012

People’s Post Grassy Park Page 3

Commuting costs on the increase LILLIAN AMOS

W

ITH the petrol price at an all time high, and Metrorail upping it’s fees, commuters are understandably concerned about a possible hike in taxi fares. Last week, petrol went up by 66 cents a litre in coastal areas, making it R11.59 a litre – the highest since July 2008. When People’s Post spoke to the Western Cape taxi council chairperson, Vernon Billet, he declined to comment on the matter but said that they will discuss whether or not a possible fare hike is on the cards. Meanwhile, local taxi drivers are adamant that taxi fees will have to increase, sooner rather than later. Richard Cwai, a taxi driver on the Wynberg/Retreat route says fares should definitely be increased. “I am a father of four from Gugulethu. I have been driving taxis for years now, and petrol has become extremely expensive. People are going to have to pay more for taxi fare, because there is no other way, otherwise food is being taken out of me and my children’s’ mouths.” David Samiul, who drives the Hanover Park/Retreat route says the last time their taxi association had an increase was almost three years ago. “We have to have an increase. We didn’t have one in a long time, but if we don’t, we lose out at the end of the day. I believe we are still the cheapest mode of transport, so it has to happen some time or another.” Nazeem Abduragman, from the Mitchell’s Plain Taxi Association confirmed that taxi prices will definitely increase soon. “We are extremely community orientated and we hate to do it, but we are going to have to push the taxi prices up. It’s not that we want to, we are forced to do it. The petrol

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hikes are killing us. If it does increase though, we will keep the increase as low as possible”, says Abduragman. South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) national spokesperson, Mamokgethi Rea Molopyane, says she is sure that taxi fees will increase. “It will definitely go up, it’s just a matter of time. If it happens, it will make it difficult for the average worker because 60 percent of their salary is already being spent on transport. Now, that amount will be even bigger because of the Metrorail increases. This is disappointing, because the poor is getting poorer and the impact will definitely be felt by those on the ground.” Some commuters People’s Post spoke to say another fare hike would be too much to bear, but others understand the situation. “Everybody needs to make a living, and it’s not the taxi driver’s fault that the petrol went up. So if push comes to shove, and they do increase their fees, it should be ok, as long as they don’t increase it too much. Besides, I think they are still cheap,” says Darren Seeger, a regular taxi commuter.

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TAXI’S STILL FAIR: A taxi driver waits patiently for his taxi to fill up with passengers. Photo: Lillian Amos

Peoples Post Grassy Park 10 April 2012  

Peoples Post Grassy Park 10 April 2012

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