Africa-Press – Eswatini. Commuters will be caught in confusion today over what fares they should pay as operators have insisted on charging the new fares, despite these not being fully gazetted.
As such, commuters will be left in the mercy of the public transport they will be using if not the leniency of those operators given their decision to go ahead with the introduction of the new fares. Public transport operators have insisted in hiking fares today despite government warning them to wait until a gazette is issued.
Local Kombi Association Secretary Sabelo Dlamini said they had had enough of the delays in publishing of the much awaited gazette, which saw Mbabane public transport workers engaging in a strike last week Wednesday to compel government to speed up the process. He said they had decided that they would, with effect from today, charge the new fares as per the notices made on Wednesday.
“We received the notices from the ministry and the ministry had promised us that by today (yesterday), the gazette would be issued, however, by the end of business day there was still no gazette. “We are now tired of the excuses and have already told our employees to charge the new fees and we are not changing that overnight,” he said.
Dlamini said they failed to understand what was difficult in the office of the attorney general in appending a signature and stamp on the gazette so that it became official.
“It affects us as businesspeople to be stopped by a person who is not doing their work. We cannot allow that to stop us so we are going ahead and charging the agreed prices which were passed by Parliament,” he said. Similar sentiments were shared by the Mbabane region Chairperson Richard Simelane who said the country could not be put on a standstill by a government official’s failure to do their work.
“We do not want to see another strike or and disturbance in the transportation of our customers. Government was given enough time to issue the gazette, we cannot take it anymore. From tomorrow the new fares kick in.
Who approved the cooking oil price hike? Was it government or the shop owners after seeing that the cost price had increased?” he asked rhetorically. He said whosoever delayed the process wanted chaos and to disturb the transportation of the public and that government should have not have issued the notices if they were not certain that the gazette will follow soon.