Taxi commuters demand a stop to so called “increased” taxi tariffs

Taxi commuters at Walvis Bay pleaded yesterday for both the municipal traffic authority and the Namibian Police to urgently intervene in what they described as a growing standoff between taxi drivers and the public over so called increased taxi fares.

Taxi drivers insist there was a fee increase. Members of the public question this, but are subjected to verbal and physical abuse if they refuse to pay these higher fares.
Recently, taxi drivers in Walvis Bay started to demand higher taxi fares from the public.
They have a photocopied list of the increased fees. The list carries the stamp of the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association.
In some instances fares increased with as many as 300 % and new tariffs were also “introduced” which include an extra N$5 payable if the taxi commuter has a 12,5kg of maize or 12,5kg of sugar to take along.
In several instances taxi commuters who refuse to pay these higher tariffs were verbally and or physically assaulted by taxi drivers. One taxi driver apologised to a victim at the Narraville police station last week after physically assaulting her for questioning the high fees. The taxi driver admitted these higher fares are invalid and that he was actually only taking chances.
In a telephonic interview last week the head of the Walvis Bay municipal traffic department, Superintendent Eben Platt issued a stern warning against taxi drivers demanding these higher taxi fares and also against verbally or physically assaulting members of the public.
“These taxi fares are invalid. No new taxi tariffs were announced by the Road Traffic Board”, Platt said last week.
Superintendent Platt warns this photocopied tariff list used by the taxi drivers to convince their clients is bogus, despite carrying the official stamp of the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association.
He said taxi drivers risk losing their public driving permits if making themselves guilty of charging illegal tariffs or assaulting or abusing members of the public who complain or refuse to pay the higher fares.

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