Taxi union wants 10% increase

The NTTU president said the recent petrol increase – by 80 cents per litre for both petrol and diesel - far exceeds the price of taxi fare per passenger.

03 May 2021 | Transport

ELLANIE SMIT







WINDHOEK

The taxi union wants a 10% increase in taxi fares, effective 15 March. Currently, the taxi fare is N$12.

Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) president Werner Januarie yesterday gave the transport ministry notice of the increase, and said he would be challenging the Road Transport Act of 1977 in the Windhoek High Court, which he claims is an ‘apartheid law’.

In a letter addressed to transport minister John Mutorwa, he said the petrol increase on Wednesday far exceeds the price of taxi fare per passenger.

The price of both petrol and diesel increased by 80 cents a litre this month. New fuel prices at Walvis Bay have been set at N$12.65 per litre of petrol, and N$12.68 per litre of diesel.

Januarie said the increase in taxi fare is done in compliance with section 12 (3) of the Road Transport Act.

“Be strongly advised that very soon your law that you useless elements in government love and adore so much will be challenged in the High Court of Namibia, together with the unjust, unconstitutional high traffic fines by non-other than yours truly,” Januarie wrote.

The first motion on this matter will be brought before court on 19 March.

‘Dehumanising’ law

The NTTU president said the Road Transport Act is “dehumanising” employed taxi drivers, as they have no social protection.

Januarie, who has since 2013 been advocating for the establishment of the Public Passenger Road Transport Bill, said while Parliament was informed about the Bill in 2019 and while Mutorwa claimed it would reach the National Assembly last year, no such progress has been made.

“Hopefully the court will give a listening ear to hear those sections of my application dealing with your apartheid law as well as your unlawful and unconstitutional traffic fines,” he wrote.

‘Unwarranted personal attacks’

In a reply to Januarie, Mutorwa said the ministry, through its lawyers, is ready to argue the case in court.

He further said despite Januarie’s unfounded and unwarranted personal insults, a written response would be prepared clearly highlighting the progress with regards to the Public Passenger Road Transport Bill.

The minister said the Bill is currently with legal drafters after it was approved last September by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation.

He added that the Road Transportation Board of Namibia should also clarify the “alleged” taxi fare increases.

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