Economy not okay for taxi fare hike: Nakathingo

Martin Endjala

The Namibia Buses and Taxi Association Secretary General Pendapala Nakathingo today reiterated that taxi and minibuses fares will not increase in the current weakened economy of the country, and that any attempt in doing so will only further worsen the livelihoods of the already struggling people.

Nakathingo was speaking today at an information sharing gathering in Windhoek, to give clarity on minibus and taxi operations.

The taxi fares were increased last year in December from N$12.00 to N$13.00, while also in the same year the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union resolved to increase the taxi fares temporary during the surge of the Covid-19 as reprieve mechanism to help taxi drivers since they were only allowed to carry three passengers.

NABTA SG told the Windhoek Observer today in an interview that they do not plan on increasing the taxi fares at the moment, but have also not rule out an increment should the conditions change.

Nakathingo clarified that the misconception on the minibuses being different from taxis is totally wrong, and that they both share the same transporting permit as the taxis, only difference is that they carry more passengers.

“I do not know who came up with such a concept that minibuses are N$10.00, no. They are very much N$13.00 given their increase of last year and they operate on the same permit as those of taxis, and this confusion has been going on for too long,” Nakathingo stated.

The minibuses are said to be mall transporters to shopping malls in the outlying suburbs, which are infringed upon by illegal operators.

Nakathingo has condemned the prevalence of overloading by the mini taxis, saying NABTA is currently working on programs to iron out some of these issues.

Private vehicles have also been identified as illegal operators. Nakathingo further warned African migrants operating illegally as taxi drivers to refrain from doing so or face the full wrath of the law. “In Africa no foreigners are permitted to drive taxis in another country. And we are not trying to chase them away, they are our brothers and sisters, but proper channels ought to be followed”.

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