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The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) warns of possible fare increases for commuters as South Africa braces for a fuel levy increase.

At midnight tonight, the price of petrol in South Africa will increase by a record-high R1 to R17 per litre. While this has a significant impact on motorists, Santaco has warned that the costs will filter down to the commuters who rely on the taxi industry for mobility.

Santaco spokesperson, Thabisho Molelekwa, said that "The way in which the petrol is increasing, it opens the possibilities for taxi increase quite widely".

He continued, saying, "Every year in June, only then does the national executive committee decides on whether taxi fares should increase or not. At the moment since the beginning of the year, and the rate at which the petrol price has been increasing, we've realised that it has produced pressure on operational costs which places the fare increase hike discussion high on the agenda."

According to Molelekwa, a decision will be made by Friday.

The increases, including diesel at between 63c and 65c, are due to internal and external factors. These include the rand/dollar exchange rate and the price of Brent Crude Oil.

Molelekwa added, "You know you can't isolate that possibility because of a number of factors, one which is that the industry has not really recovered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic since last year.

"Many operators faced the possible repossession of their vehicles, about 65% of them are still trying to bring their accounts up to do date and have arrangements with their financiers. So, these pressures, including the petrol price hike, are putting pressure on the industry."

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