Botswana’s Ministry of Transport has expressed concern over an ongoing strike that was organised by commuter omnibus and taxi operators saying the protest has adversely affected members of the public. The operators were demanding that the local combi fare be P7. Their reasons are that the law dictates that the transport fee shall be 30t per kilometre in the local radius of 22.2km. This adds up to P6.66 and if rounded to the nearest pula it becomes P7. Pindula News presents a statement issued by the government on the matter.
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE ONGOING STRIKE ORGANISED BY SOME COMBI AND TAXI OPERATORS 23 November 2021
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has noted with great concern the ongoing strike by some Local Public Operators which have affected commuters who rely on public transportation.
The Ministry was not informed of the strike. However, we can confirm that some consultative meetings were held in September 2021 in which Gaborone Taxi and Combi Association, as well as Botswana Bus Operators Association, requested engagement with the Ministry on the increase of the service fees.
The Ministry’s understanding has always been that the meetings held with the concerned associations were cordial and fruitful. It is, however, regrettable that while we are still discussing this matter in the spirit of finding an amicable solution some operators are embarking on a strike inconveniencing members of the public and affecting economic activities.
The Ministry is currently engaging these local operators to ensure business continuity and to address emerging issues.
On a disturbing note, we have received information that some operators are intimidating those who want to continue servicing the public and we wish to advise that those who have embarked on such acts to desist from doing so.
We want to thank and appreciate with great gratitude all operators who are offering service to the public despite the strike. The Ministry remains open to continue dialoguing with Local and Bus Operators on this matter for a long-lasting solution.
For more information, please contact: Ministry of Transport and Communications Public Relations Office Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: gov.bw Phone: + 267 361 2000 Toll Free: 17779
Meanwhile, Gaborone Taxi and Combi Association chairperson, Edison Tlhomelang this afternoon said they were calling off the strike saying government officials have promised favourable feedback by November 26, 2021 (Friday).
Some members are, however, unhappy about the decision to call off the strike without a concrete decision on the increment saying they “do not trust the government”.