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Taxi owners demand fare increment

Business

Ntsoaki Motaung

The public transport operators are demanding a fare increment, the chairman of the Lesotho Taxi Operators Association Mokete Jonase told Newsday last week.

Jonase told this publication that they had submitted a proposal to the government to increase public transport fares but did not disclose by how much.

He stated that the agreement between the associations and the government was that the fares would be increased each year to avoid increasing them infrequently as that inconveniences passengers.

“We have not yet stated how much we will want as an increment because we want to allow the transport board to do its own investigations on what amount can be suitable,” Jonase said.

“After they have done that, they will come back to us so that we decide whether to agree with what they will be saying or come up with our own amount,” he added.

He said the public will be informed when all of the processes have been completed and will be given one-month notice before the new fares are implemented.

He denied the rumours that the fares will be increased by 50 percent from M12.00 to M18.00 for local passengers.

“That is false information,” he said.

Jonase also disclosed that the study tour to South Africa, Botswana, and Eswatini which public transport operators were promised by the previous government will eventually take place this month.

He indicated that seven members of the taxi associations, three government officials, and the minister of transport will leave the country on June 20 and come back on June 24.

The aim is to study how South Africa, Botswana, and Eswatini run their taxi industries and set public transport fares.

Jonase said the ministry of transport last year said it did not have the funds to finance the tour.

The Commissioner of traffic, ‘Mathabo Tšosane, said she was unable to comment because preparations for the trip were still underway.

“I can only confirm that the study will take place. However, preparations are still underway. Even the dates which were proposed seem like will not be working,” Tšosane said.

“We will have to come up with other dates once all the countries we are visiting have confirmed. Otherwise, most of the preparations are still not yet done that is why I think it is important to comment when all the information is available,” she said.

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