Africa-Press – Namibia. THE Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) is considering a new date for its planned protest.
Union president Werner Januarie says this is due to the union not having received a reply from several ministries to their request for taxi fares to increase from N$13 to N$18, and for the government to cancel fuel levies and some taxes.
“There is no communication from any government department,” Januarie says.
He blames the police for sabotaging the union’s initial protest, which was set for 26 July.
The protest did not take place because the police were demanding payment for police officers’ presence during the demonstration, he says.
Januarie says a protest which is not sanctioned by the police deters many taxi operators from participating.
“The people got scared, because there is already the example of Amushelelo,” he says.
Meanwhile, the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) says it will also submit a request for a taxi fare increase, since the Ministry of Works and Transport did not support its initiative to increase fares from N$13 to N$15.
This increase was to be shared between taxi operators and drivers.
“Passengers would pay taxi drivers only N$11, and Nabta would pay N$4 through the system,” Nakathingo says.
Through this initiative taxi drivers would receive pension and housing benefits, as well as free funeral cover.
“We are going to ask them for an increment, which will come from passengers’ pockets, because they refuse to support Nabta’s initiative. They don’t care about the people,” he says.
Nakathingo says the increase should be implemented in August.
He says the government should not blame the nation for its failures, as the economy affects everyone.
Transport ministry spokesperson Julius Ngweda says Nabta should have approached it first before publicly announcing its plans.
Ngweda says the ministry has not received an application for a fare increase from Nabta, but has received such from the NTTU.