Maria Hamutenya

Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) says it has resolved to hike taxi fares to no more than N$ 13.50, subject to approval by the Ministry of Works and Transport.

According to the NTTU request sent to the Transport ministry, the taxi operators are seeking to effect the hike as from the 15th of March.

“This taxi fare increment is in line with the law, section 12 of the Road Transportation Act, Act 74 of 1977, states that when there is any fuel increment, we are allowed to give notice for taxi fare increment,” NTTU leader, Werner Januarie, told the Windhoek Observer.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy approved a March increase of diesel and petrol prices by 80 cents. “The Road Transportation Act 74 of 1977 section 12 (3) states that taxi fare may not be increased by more than ten percent and the union will only negotiate to lower the percentage if other stakeholders feel that the agreed percentage is too high,” he said.

In the letter , Januarie called out the Minister of Works and Transport with regards to the progress of the Passenger Road Transport Bill, designed to repeal the Road Transportation Act. “I wish to be informed on behalf of and as the representative of all the taxi and bus drivers, as well as all other employees in the public passenger road transport industry, how far are you with the Public Passenger Road Transport Bill? It is important to be fully informed as members are eagerly awaiting the enactment of the new set of legislations,” 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 passenger’s in taxis, NTTU had its request to permanently charge the N$14 fare rejected by the Transport ministry, as restrictions around full loading for taxi operators were lifted.

Januarie backed up his request stating that under the regulations of the Roads Authority Act 17 of 1999, taxis are allowed to charge double when they drop a passenger where there is no taxi rank.