Maria Hamutenya

Taxi fares will increase from N$12 to N$ 13.20 as of 31 March, Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) leader, Werner Januarie, announced on Monday.

According to Januarie, the increment is in line with the law, section 12 of the Road Transportation Act of 1977, which states that when there is any fuel increment, unions are allowed to give notice for taxi fare increment.

“It is only in subsequent section where board’s approval is sought and only in instances where the increase requested is above the threshold of ten percent, thus the NTTU pricelist is now finalised and customers are expected to strictly adhere to new tariffs from Wednesday the 31st March 2021,” Januarie said.

However, Januarie added that there was no response from the Transport ministry regarding the request sent to them on 5th March.

“We have not received any official communication and therefore to us it is already automatic, if we were to interpret that section very well, that as long as you make request within ten days and the taxi fare increment requested is ten percent and below, it is almost automatic,” Januarie added.

Januarie said that any taxi fare increment requests that are above ten percent is what requires ministry approval.

“Only in subsequent section does it state that when such fare increase so requested is above ten percent, that you need the transportation board approval,” He said.

“The fact that the ministry did not get back to us when we were telling them that by the 15th we are going to increase, if they were really against the increment or they are a responsible institution, they were supposed to respond to us,” Januarie stated.

Januarie further added that the request is not discriminatory and is for everybody in the public transport industry, adding that shuttles can also increase by ten percent.

“It goes across the whole transport industry. We are not only specifically asking for taxi’s but it applies to everyone in the public passenger transport industry,” said Januarie

Last year the NTTU increased taxi and bus fares by 15 percent temporarily in May to cushion operators against the negative effects of COVID-19 regulations on their income, as they were forced to carry a limited number of passengers at a time.

However, after the restrictions were lifted on the number of passengers in taxis, NTTU had its request to permanently charge the N$14 fare rejected by the Works and Transport ministry, as restrictions around full loading for taxi operators were lifted.