Commuters stranded due to transporters’ strike

An elderly woman waiting for a bus at Gaborone bus rank. PIC KENNEDY RAMOKONE
An elderly woman waiting for a bus at Gaborone bus rank. PIC KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Members of the Taxi and Combi Association of Botswana went on strike on Tuesday in protest against the recent fuel price hikes. Members of the association, however, stated they are not interested in increased fares but rather reduced fuel prices and licensing fees.

Protecting their customers’ pockets and the profitability of public transport, taxi and combi drivers are now looking at the government to consider relieving them from paying licensing fees and high fuel prices before resorting to another transport fare increase. The recent spike in the cost of fuel on Friday sent prices up by a staggering P2.74 for diesel and P1.48 for petrol, wiping away the already weak profits that combi and taxi drivers were previously making. As a standard procedure in response to increased fuel prices, transport strikes have historically been aimed at increasing fares to keep drivers relatively profitable. However, several increments in both fuel and fare prices over a short period have hit the pockets of public commuters to the point where drivers are already losing business. A Gaborone taxi driver, Otsile Tsie, expressed that the increase in fuel prices means that he takes home essentially nothing at the end of a workday.

“We make around P400 a day, we put in around P250 per day which leaves us with P150 to pay the owners of our taxis. When our children ask us for a pen or pencil for school, we have to tell them we don’t have money,” Tsie said.

Editor's Comment
Shame on the Police!

According to a press statement from the police, unidentified armed men attacked on duty police officers at the station in the early hours of Tuesday.During the attack, the suspects stole 14 riffles, five pistols and an undisclosed number of ammunition.Although unconfirmed, it is alleged that the suspects were just carrying knives and axes, which they used to scare the men and women in uniform before they took them hostage to help themselves to...

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