The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union president, Werner Januarie has signed an agreement with various students from NUST, IUM, UNAM and the Students Union of Namibia for a taxi fare reduction for students on school days.
The agreement is understood to counter the harsh economic conditions brought to bear on parents due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It comes at a time when the works and transport ministry has increased taxi fares from N$12 to N$14.
However, the major concern is whether taxi drivers will agree to implement the water-shed deal at a time when some taxi drivers have asked why they were not consulted.
“I hereby would like to confirm that we reached some kind of agreement. We understand the struggle and plea of our students and we must equally treat out senior citizens with dignity. The following changes on taxi price is as follows, all learners from grades 0 to 12 during school working hours only provided they are heading to school as from Monday the 1st of July 2020 will pay N$10 instead of N$14 and N$20 instead of N$28 on a double distance. On a triple distance they will pay N$32 instead of N$42,” he said.
Students will be recognized by using a legitimate 2020 student card, he said, adding that these fares will also apply for senior citizens.
Januarie said there is no need for him to consult the owners of the taxis while confirming that his members will agree to the effected changes.
“As a leader, I am not a dictator like some of your presidents, hence I am making a plea to my members to please honor the agreement that we are having here with the students of the Republic of Namibia. For your information, in my union I always emphasize on the matter of discipline. When a leader says we are doing this, it’s done,” he said.
SUN’s Bernard Kavau has also commended government for working on the taxi union bill which he says speaks of modernization of the taxi industry and taxi regulation.
“We call for the speedy scrutiny by the end of 31 July 2020. We expect the bill to be tabled before parliament. The only existing policy that controls the taxi industry is that of apartheid so there is a need for reform.