Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane reacts during the Annual General Meeting of the Chamber of Mines that was held in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. 18/05/2016 PICTURE: SIZWE NDINGANE/ SUNDAY TIMES

THE PORTFOLIO Committee on Transport has welcomed assurances by the Department of Transport that it will engage the taxi industry about its decision to increase taxi fares.

This comes after taxi operators announced this week that the sector intended to hike fares by up to 172% in order to cover for losses during the lockdown.


Mosebenzi Zwane, the chairperson of the parliamentary on transport, said the fare hikes and the manner in which they had been implemented could potentially be understood as unreasonable.

“The commuters should not carry these costs and the government should find a way to resolve this matter amicably,” said Zwane.
 
“Everyone has been affected negatively by the lockdown and all the industries are in distress. Unverified reports indicated that some taxi associations intended to hike fares in response to the regulations which stipulates 70% carrying capacity for minibus taxis during the level 3 lockdown.”

The committee has urged the government to engage the taxi associations and find a solution.
 
The Department of Transport told Parliament that it was currently awaiting a response from the industry regarding the COVID-19 relief commitment that the government is going to avail to the taxi industry.

The committee welcomed the commitment and called on the taxi industry to take the Department of Transport up on the offer with the understanding that this was a relief support.

(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)

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