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Taxi fares to increase

MRTO Public Relations Officer, Lebohang Moea

July 20, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

LOCAL taxi operators have decided to increase local taxi fares from M8 to M9 effective from September 1, the Maseru Region Taxi Operators (MRTO) Public Relations Officer, Lebohang Moea has shown.

The fares, he said have not been increased in a long time, adding that the last increase was made in 2018.

He said according to an agreement the operators had with the Transport Board and the Ministry of Works and Transport, the fares were supposed to be increased at least by 50 lisente every year.

Mr Moea said rightfully, they want local fares to increase from M8 to M18 but looking at their market which comprises mainly of street vendors and factory workers, they might go down to M9, which was proposed by the previous board, adding that for long distance, the fares will be increased per kilometre.
He said they need a system in place to ensure that the increase is implemented every year so as to avoid consumers feeling that they are being oppressed.
He said there are many issues that contributed to their decision, adding that although taxi fares have not gone up for the past two years, fuel prices however, increase every now and again while maintenance of their vehicles also does not come cheap.
He said the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) also expects them to pay a sum of M1 800 in taxes per annum for a single taxi, regardless of whether they made profit or not.

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“We have drivers and conductors that we pay from the collections made, so if the fares remain the same, we will never be able to cover all our expenditures and in the end, our industry might collapse,” he said.
For her part, the Transport Commissioner, 'Mathabo Tšosane said a decision to increase the fares has still not been reached, adding that the ministry will make an announcement as soon as negotiations have been completed.

The Executive Director of the Consumer Protection Association (CPA), Nkareng Letsie said while taxi operators have valid reason to increase the fares, he nonetheless showed that the suggested M18 is too much, adding that they should at least consider increasing the fare to M12 for local taxis. LeNA


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