Windhoek taxi drivers have enjoyed a N$2 surplus on taxi fare since the second lockdown, however the Justice Minister, Yvonne Dausab yesterday announced that taxi fare will decrease to the normal rate, effective from Friday, October 23, 2020.
The latest remarks by the minister on taxi fare reduction have had some taxi drivers hoping that the announcement was just a joke. But the reality is sinking in as some customers who got the minister’s message reacted by paying only N$12 this morning. Biashara news interviewed a few taxi drivers who expressed their views on the reduction.
“We are going back to the survival mode again. Fuel prices have got up and the only option we had left for our survival was the 2 dollar increase on fare prices, but now here comes the coup de grace” said Naftal Alweendo, 34.
A taxi driver, Matias Simos says: “A lot of people are no longer employed so we don’t have as many customers anymore. So it’s better if the price remained at N$14 so that we are also able to make a living because fuel prices are now up and will not decrease anytime soon”.
John K Kambala, a taxi driver from Ombili, says: “The decrease will affect taxi drivers badly; it will lead us in the taxi industry to come together and see what we can do.”
Driver Thomas Kamati operates his taxi from Katutura to UNAM. The long-distance driver says there are chances he will be operating at a loss, due to this reduction in fare.
“We have already been helping customers especially students by allowing them to pay only N$10 on request because business was slow and we pretty much understood the Covid-19 situation. The N$14 was good for us and the whole industry. After the lockdown, many people are no longer travelling; trends have changed and customers are few, at times you only work for fuel and the owner of the car expects you to honor your agreement, come month-end” Paulus said.
The decision to reduce the fare from N$14.00 to N$12.00 came as a result of relaxed regulations on the number of passengers taxis can accommodate as they are now allowed to load passengers to full capacity.