Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Government to hike bus fares

The Ministry of Works and Transport is this week expected to announce a fare increase following pressure from the Botswana Bus Association (BBA).

The Ministry approached BBA on the eve of the President’s Holiday bus strike for a meeting to call off the strike and discus the fare increase.

The association recently revealed plans to down keys last Wednesday 2nd July if bus fares were not increased following massive increases in fuel prices.

BBA Chairman, Tirafalo Mponang, on Wednesday told Sunday Standard that the association received a call from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport on Monday afternoon, the day before the Sir Seretse Khama holidays strike action, requesting an immediate meeting.

The Association and the Ministry agreed that by 7th July government would have processed the fare increase.

“I want to make my point clear once and for all to those concerned that these are not negotiations. Those have been thoroughly dealt with, the bus fare hike is happening and Batswana should be prepared to embrace it, for it is beyond anyone’s control,” said Mponang.

The association’s chairman also revealed that the ministry had agreed to co-operate with the association by allowing the treasurer of the BBA, Gago Thaselo, to work with them in a bid to speed up the process as fear of another diesel increase is anticipated.

Contrary to what the bus association informed the SUNDAY STANDARD in the June 29-5 July issue, the 0.03thebe that the association is said to be requesting is just the start to what the bus operators wanted to be added to their shares while they await a substantive increase which they want in two weeks.

News of an impending fare hike has, however, rattled Gaborone commuters who are already reeling from the escalating cost of living.

Motlotlegi Dirang, a city council cleaner said high rentals, soaring food prices and now the anticipated fare hike will impoverish them. Dirang was expressing the sentiment shared by most Gaborone residents.

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Sunday Standard August 2 – 8

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 2 - 8, 2020.