Scammers and opportunists
overcharging passengers

Martin Endjala

Following the high volume of holiday travelers, opportunistic long-haul operators have resorted to overcharging passengers returning from holiday.

This was revealed by the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) Secretary General, Pendapala Nakathingo in an interview with the Windhoek Observer. The revelation follows reports alleging some operators charging passangers exorbitant fees before boarding the buses. “My office received reports on some boys dealing with bookings, asking for exorbitant fees for passengers to book a seat on the bus. The same individuals even made people to pay while there was no bus at all and I am informed that there was a scenario where they ran off with the money”, said Nakathingo.

Nakathingo however, stressed that they have had numerous engagements with their and discouraged them from overcharging passengers. However, he stressed that those found infringing on the directives will be held accountable. He urges passengers to make use of the 24 hour operating helpline of the association to report any fraudulent activities by bus drivers.

Moreover, some passengers were also reported to have allegedly demanded to pay more to board the buses, a conundrum that Nakathingo has cited as unethical as it compromises school going children, students and those who cannot afford, resulting in them remaining behind and must wait for other buses and delay their journeys.

Furthermore, the noticeable high volume of holiday travellers returning for work and school is due to poor planning despite NABTA’s efforts of sensitizing the public to plan their travelling early to avoid long queues and unnecessary delays.

On a positive note, the Secretary General is pleased to see that their defensive driving skills training carried out last year is finally paying off, as there were no bus accident reported. The defensive driving skills training and First Aid was kick started year September 2022 in the Khomas region with 200 drivers across the country. The training will continue in February and will be conducted in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions.
“We can no longer have our bus and taxi drivers as by-standers at accidents so with the First Aid training they will be able to assist where they can which will save lives. Sometimes ambulances take time or are not available at all”, Nakathingo emphasized. Drivers who complete the training are expected to carry their First Aid kits on board.

By Observer