High price to pay as petrol escalates

Taxi industry facing ruin as clients turn to alternative forms of transportation

Ever increasing petrol prices are taking big bites out of profits in the taxi industry.
Several taxi drivers in East London told the Daily Dispatch they were barely making a profit. One taxi driver, who operates on the Beacon Bay-East London CBD route, said: “You are lucky these days if you make any profit. We break even, make little profit or do not make profit at all. What you must also understand is that there are a lot of us in the industry and competition is tough.”
He said that passengers should understand that the taxi industry also increases taxi fares as a means of trying to have balanced prices.
Another taxi driver said that it was more difficult for them because passengers have now opted for other means of transportation, including hitch-hiking.
“Our passengers are desperate to save money and they go hitch-hike. I do not blame other motorists for stopping for them because they also want the money so that they can try to fill their tanks,” the taxi driver said.
Ayanda Ndondo, who lives in King William’s Town and works in East London, said that the hikes meant she has to dig deep in her pocket to finance her daily travelling.
“The petrol hike means I now have to use more money on transport. I live in King William’s Town, working in East London, so I spend more than R400 a week. This is a difficult time because our salaries stay the same,” Ndondo said.
The Department of Energy had earlier announced that petrol would increase by more than R1.30 per litre. On Wednesday 95 unleaded petrol price went up by R1.26 a litre, diesel by just over 81 cents, and illuminating paraffin by 63 cents/litre.
In a 10-year, period petrol has almost tripled. In January 2009 a litre of petrol cost R5.69 and today it’s R15.53...

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