New demand for fares hikes

Werner January says his union is requesting a 10% increase, effective from 3 December, in view of the latest fuel price hikes last week.

14 November 2018 | Transport

A little more than two months after taxi prices were hiked by 20% the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) has asked for a further 10% increase to address continuous fuel price increases.

NTTU president Werner January says the union is requesting a 10% increase effective Monday, 3 December in view of the latest fuel price hike last week.

Since August, petrol and diesel prices have increased every month.

In August, the energy ministry increased the prices of petrol and all grades of diesel by 25 cents a litre.

That was followed by another increase of 40 cents per litre for all petroleum products in early September.

In October, fuel prices increased by 50 cents per litre and last week, another price hike of 50 cents per litre for petrol and 70 cents per litre for diesel came into effect.

January said a corresponding taxi fare hike would help allay the rising costs of doing business and “enable taxi drivers and owners to recover their increased fuel expenditure”.

After repeatedly demanding that taxi fares be increased by 50% earlier this year, the NTTU was disappointed in late August when the transportation board endorsed a 20% fare increase.

The Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) stated in November that a number of factors had influenced the cost of fuel over the past year.

The association confirmed that petrol prices in Windhoek were now 19.6% higher, and diesel prices 23.5% higher, than at the beginning of the year and 24.7% and 28.9% higher than in November 2017.

“Pump prices for diesel have been increased since May 2018 and for petrol since June 2018. Higher oil prices and a weaker Namibia dollar have been the main reasons, but adjustments in the transport costs from Walvis Bay to inland destinations as well as the increase in the fuel tax added to price rises in previous months,” EAN said.

The annual inflation rate for the subcategory 'operation of personal transport equipment', which includes the fuel price, rose from 7.4% in January to 13.3% in September this year.

By comparison, the inflation rate for that subcategory in September 2017 was 5.0%.

The annual inflation rate in the subcategory 'public transport services', which includes taxis, saw a rise from 1.5% in January to 18% in September this year.

The rise from 1.7% in August to 18% in September was the result of the taxi fare increase.

By comparison, the inflation rate for public transport services in September 2017 stood at -0.1%.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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