Concerned Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says he is enjoined by the lockdown regulations to refer the planned taxi fares to the Competition Commission to assess if they increases are fair and justifiable.
This after the Alex Taxi Association announced an increase of taxi fare by 172% which will see passengers who travel from Alex to Sandton paying R30, from R11 effective 15 June.
Though the minister is aware of the challenges faced by the taxi industry as a result of the lockdown regulations, he has urged associations to be mindful of the poor when redetermining fares.
Government is finalising relief to assist the industry, he said.
He said: “The minister wishes to remind the industry that current regulations prevent illegal profiteering, as a result, Minister Mbalula is enjoined by the regulations to refer the matter to the Competition Commission to assess if the fare increases are fair and justifiable.
“We are aware that some taxis have not been operating for some time now and that those which have been operating have been doing so at a limited capacity. We understand that there may be a need for fare increases but those increases must be fair, the industry must take into consideration the plight of the poor and the working class, who form the majority of their customers. Anything outside of that fairness is illegality.”
Santaco has also announced it would address the matter following complaints from commuters and the public.
“Coincidentally, this comes when the leadership of Santaco will be meeting this week to discuss among others the same subject, a matter that is normally considered at this time of the year in the calendar of the taxi business,” it said.
An announcement on the decision will reportedly be made by no later than Thursday, 11 June.