The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) has made it clear that it will disregard a warning by the works ministry against its push for a 50% taxi fare increment while the Namibia Bus and taxi Association (NABTA) has described such an increment as undoable and will be negotiating with government for a better deal.
In a press statement sent to The Villager yesterday afternoon, the ministry made it clear that such an increment was not within the parameters of law citing the Road Transportation Act 1977 Section 12 (3).
The Act states that a holder of a public permit authorised to convey persons for reward may increase tariffs after an increase in fuel but by no more than 10%.
“Failure to comply with permit conditions, section 25 (1) of the Act gives the Transportation Board the power to withdraw or suspend a permit at any time if it has been established that the circumstances under which such permit was granted have materially changed,” read the statement.
Speaking to this publication, NTTU president Werner Januarie said such an Act was unconstitutional and its provisions would not deter them from going ahead with the increments.
“It does not say we need to notify the ministry of any intentions to increase fares and we are going to increase because we can not agree with an Act that is unconstitutional,” he said in a telephonic interview.
NABTA Secretary General, Pendapala Nakathingo said theirs is a negotiation for a better deal that should serve the interest of both the public and taxi operators and will not be anywhere higher.
“We can confirm that indeed taxi fares will increase this year but we can not at this moment say when that will be. We still are negotiating with government and continue to be open for negotiation,” he told The Villager.
Meanwhile the works ministry said it had received applications for taxi fare increments of 50% from NABTA, 20% from NTTU and 10% from the Namibia Public Passenger Transport Association.
For now, the Transportation Board will assess the applications with stakeholder consultation while a lot of economic factors will be taken into consideration in order to strike a balance.