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Workers beware: Taxi fare rise

2013-08-06 13:51

COMMUTERS UNDER PRESSURE: Taxi fares will increase by as much as 20% and bus fares could follow suit. Image: SAPA

The retail price of all grades of petrol will cost 32c/litre more from August 7, as Wheels24 has already reported.

Both forms of diesel, 0.05 sulphur and 0.005 sulphur, will go up by 32.96c/litre from the same time and date.


As a result, the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) has warned commuters to expect an increase in fares, varying depending on routes and distances of each taxi association across the country.

Santaco deputy secretary-general Bafana Magagula said that, without government subsidies, the union "had no choice but to call for a rise in taxi fees". He added: "We have tried to hold the increases back but we cannot hold back any longer."

Santaco spokesperson Bafana Magagula said: "We are having a petrol increase which is going to affect us in terms of our operation and expenses as from Thursday. However, we request and announce that taxi commuters need now to expect an increase of not more than 20% from what they are paying now."

Based on Santaco's Taxi Fare Index, the current taxi fare price of Gauteng is R12 and R11 in the Western Cape. Based on its proposed 20% increase, commuters could be looking at an increase of R14.20 in Gauteng and R13.20 on the coast.


Santaco said in July 2013, when it launched its Taxi Fare Index, that taxi fares were underpriced by as much as 70% “in some instances”.

Santaco CEO Nkululeko Buthelezi said: “This means that when an association decides to increase fares the amount is simply based on the general feeling among operator members about what they need to restore their net earnings.

“In turn, this makes it difficult for the association to explain to commuters why fares are being increased.”

According to Santaco, it lists its "required taxi fare” in the Western Cape as R17.81, up from the current price of R11, which equates to a 61.76% increase.


Santaco is increasing its fares based on the fuel price rise but how much does it cost the operator to run a normal route. Since we're based in Adderley Street, Cape Town, we thought we'd take a hypothetical trip to the Stadium to work out how much extra it would cost the taxi operator:

Current route cost
2.8km (Adderley - Stadium) x R1.29/km (current fuel cost @ R12.86/litre at 10 litres/100km) = R3.61
Income: R5 (fare for trip) x 11 passengers (a conservative number, we know) = R55
R55 - R3.61 fuel = R51.39

With 20% increase:
2.8km (Adderley Street to Cape Town Stadium) x R1.31 (new fuel price @ R13.18/litre) = R3.69
Income: R6 (with 20% increase from R5) x 11 (passengers) = R66
R66 - R5 = R61

R61 - R51.39 = R9.61

So for the extra 20% increase a taxi operator gets R9.61 extra for the same route but his petrol cost has only increased by 8c. So why such a huge increase because the petrol price has increased.


Golden Arrow public relations manager Bronwen Dydke said the bus service might be compelled to increase fares. "Should this happen, passengers will be given advance notice and any such increase will be kept to a minimum."


The increase will push the petrol price to a record R13.55 per litre in Gauteng and R13.18 per litre in coastal areas. This comes after the 84c/litre rise early in July which caused an increase in local drivers turning to public transport.

Earlier in July 2013, Wheels24 showed where South Africa's fuel prices rank compared to the rest of the world.

Click here for some fuel-saving tips.

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