Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Taxi drivers lament negative effects of the latest fuel price hikes

By Rafieka Williams Time of article published Dec 2, 2021

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Cape Town - The minibus taxi industry in Cape Town is in a predicament as the latest fuel price increases ad pressure on taxi drivers to make more money in order to survive.

Taxi associations said fare increases were unlikely but the fuel price hikes have put them in a difficult position. Drivers will earn less as more money will now be spent on fuel.

The petrol price increased by 75 cents a litre while diesel went up by 72.5c a litre. At the start of November, the petrol price increased by R1.21 and diesel by R1.48.

Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) general secretary Mandla Hermanus said: “Every time there is a fuel increase, it hits us hard because we cannot always adjust our prices based on the increases. We are in a very difficult position – we don’t dictate to our primary associations whether they should or should not increase their fares because each route determines its own.”

Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) spokesperson Andile Khanyi said: “Things are very bad because we are transporting more than half of the population in taxis. We are not going to increase our fares and it will affect us badly but there is nothing we can do.”

Mogamat Yusuf Benjamin, Peninsula Taxi Association (PTA) representative said they now spend more money on fuel while fares remained unchanged as they considered their passengers.

“It’s Covid-19 so many people are not working. We are struggling just as hard as passengers. We all have our own responsibilities but at the end of the working day, you’re taking home less money because you’re spending more on fuel.”

Taxi drivers complained about falling on hard times. They said earnings are now ranged between R100 and R200 a day after they pay for fuel, the boss and the taxi guard.

Hanover Park driver Yusuf Coetzee, said: “The increase cuts my income by at least R120 or R150 a day, which affects how I provide for my children. I've got two special needs boys and I always need money for doctors.

“I’ve told my boss that if he doesn’t drop his target, I’m done driving. I won’t be able to afford my living because then I’m not earning a decent salary,” Coetzee said.

Joe Twani, a Wynberg driver, said: “I used to go home with R200 but now I’m going home with R100. It is going to have a bad effect on my family, our families are going to suffer.”

Ayanda Makadesi, a Gardens driver, said: “It’s painful because we are not raising the fares and it’s as if we are only driving for petrol; we can’t even reach our targets. Before you were able to go home with maybe R120 but now it’s cut in half. You can’t even pay your debts. It’s December now, so you have to buy clothes for children and make our homes warm but we can’t.”

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Cape Argus

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