- Say the gov’t has asked for more time to consult
- Mobilisation for another strike
- reportedly underway
Public transport operators’ drive to have combi and taxi fares increased has suffered another blow after the government asked for more time to consult stakeholders before taking any decision.
The Chairman of Botswana Combi and Taxi Association, Edison Tlhomelang, says the request came after lengthy discussions with the government early last week.
“The government has asked for more time to consult but hope they will get back to us without much delay because our members are frustrated,” Tlhomelang said in an interview. “Fuel prices have increased twice without any increase for us.”
He stated that before they took the law into their own hands and went on strike on November 23, public transport operators had long asked for an audience to discuss raising fares.
Meanwhile, sources say mobilisation for a strike before the end of January next year is going on behind the scenes across the country, should government fail to respond positively and timeously to demands for an increase in public transport fares.
“It is as though public transport operators enjoy downing tools,” said one source. “They too have children and relatives who are affected when there is no public transport. The government should therefore heed our call and respond timeously.”
When they went on strike last month, public transport operators wanted a decrease in the permit renewal fee that was hiked from P300 to P800, among other things.
The Minister of Transport and Communications, Thulagano Segokgo, said afterwards that the government had not been told of a looming strike at consultative meetings were in September 2021.
“The ministry remains open to continue dialogue on this matter for a long lasting solution,” Segokgo said.