Is a taxi fare increase on the cards?
Petrol prices in South Africa are set to increase from Wednesday.
Taxis parked outside Bree Taxi rank in Johannesburg on 22 June 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
Santaco has indicated that it will review its decision not to hike taxi fares.
“The petrol price increases for the past [four] months at the very least, has put the industry in a corner. Pressure is too much, we will review our decision to suspend increases,” the taxi association said in a tweet on Sunday morning.
“While fuel is a significant cost towards taxi operations, it’s not the only cost. All other costs have increased, fuel just happens to be the steepest rise. It pushes us to review. This is now up to our national executive committee to finalise this matter,” Santaco said later in the day.
Petrol prices in South Africa are set to increase from Wednesday, 2 March.
The increases are as follows:
- 93 and 95 unleaded petrol (ULP) – R1.46 per litre
- Diesel 0.05% – R1.44 per litre
- Diesel 0.005% – R1.48 per litre
- Illuminating Paraffin – R1.21 per litre
Consumers and the taxi industry are expected to feel the impact of the anticipated fuel price hike.
According to the Automobile Association (AA), 95 for inland areas will rise to R21.60 per litre, while it will cost R20.88 per litre in the coastal areas “for the first time in history”.
The increases for March are mainly attributable to rising international petroleum prices as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and would have been more severe had the rand not stabilised against the US dollar in the last few weeks.
While petrol prices will go up, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced during his budget speech last week that fuel levies will not be increased.
The general fuel and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy currently sits at R6.11 per litre.
Godongwana also confirmed that the fuel price model will be reviewed.
Subsidise taxi industry
Last October, Santaco in Gauteng expressed concern over the taxi industry not being subsidised by government after deciding not to increase taxi fares.
“We are not being subsidised as the taxi industry. So that’s why we are forced, you know, to say if need be, we’ll have to increase if not based on the increment of the petrol but economically, then it’s affecting our pockets,” Gauteng Santaco secretary-general, Ralph Jones told EWN.
Government is aiming to subsidise the taxi industry by 1 April 2021, according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Mbalula confirmed this last month as he launched the disbursement of Covid-19 relief funds for taxi operators.
R1,135 billion is currently being disbursed as a once-off payment to taxi operators.
Qualifying operators will receive a once-off ex gratia payment of R5,000 as stated by the directions issued on 2 December.
Mbalula said at the time that all funds could be paid out by March.