Minibus owners and transport associations clash

13 Feb 2017 07:40am
OSHAKATI, 13 FEB (NAMPA) – The owners of minibuses operating from Oshakati see no need for the transport associations they are affiliated to.
Some drivers alleged that they were not informed in advance that they would be required to relocate to the new terminal that opened at the Oshakati Open Market in March last year.
“We also had to register with the associations as per the council's rules, which we were not happy about,” said bus driver Joseph Tashiya during a meeting held at the Oshakati Town Council recently to discuss a number of issues that have cropped up since the new bus terminal came into operation.
All transport owners are expected to register with either the Namibian Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta), Namibia Public Passenger Transport Association (NPPTA) or the Namibian Transport Reform Association (NTRA), operating at the Oshakati bus terminal.
The associations amongst others regulate taxi and bus tariffs.
Bus owners and drivers are not happy about having to pay a certain percentage of the fees the driver collected per trip to the associations, as they say they do not know what the money is used for.
Drivers are expected to pay N.dollars 150 for a 23-seater and N.dollars 70 for a 14-seater bus for every trip.
NTRA President Victoria Kauluma said the money is used for salaries, office maintenance, equipment and supplies.
The drivers also complained that the town council did not provide clear directives on how the drivers should operate at the terminal and therefore feel the associations took advantage of this to make their own rules.
“We were fine before these associations, they are causing disorder and disunity among us and we want them out,” said another angry transporter.
Some also complained accused the NTRA of allow some people without the proper permits to operate from the terminal, disadvantaging those who are operating according to the rules.
“People from other towns come here to load customers, they slow down our business,” they complained.
Kauluma however dismissed the allegations, telling Nampa the association merely follows the rules and has never favoured anyone without the proper documentation.
Nabta President Vespa Muunda said the association has the bus drivers’ interests at heart. He also said they want the three associations to merge.
The council through Chief Executive Officer Werner Iita promised to find a solution to the problem.