Public Transport Operator’s Strike Cuts-Off Maun

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Commuters leaving Maun to other parts of the country were this week left stranded as bus Operators joined the two day nationwide ‘Public Transport Operators Strike.’

A peaceful strike by the Taxi and Combi Association as well as Botswana Bus Operators Association took place on Tuesday and Wednesday following a recent pump price adjustment made by the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA).

The public transport operators demand an increase of fares from the government as the hike makes their business suffer. The lack of response from the government caused the recent strike as it was given until 5pm on Monday to give feedback. The strike was on for only two days with the hope that the government will consider their plea and then on Thursday, normal operations commence.

Retail pump price adjustment were made on the 13th of May 2022, where unleaded petrol 93 was increased by 148thebe per liter, unleaded petrol 95 by 154 thebe per litre, diesel 50ppm by 274thebe per litre and illuminating paraffin increased by 206 thebe per litre.

From Tuesday until Wednesday there were no buses that left for Gaborone and other parts except for a few heading back to their base in Francistown. It was however business as usual for some taxi operators while others joined the rest of their colleagues across the country and suspended their services.  

As a results, people who rely on public transport were left stranded as there was a shortage of transport. Hiking stops with people especially those who needed buses to travel to nearby villages like Toteng and Sehithwa for work.

In an interview with the Maun Taxi Association Chairman, Baitshepi Zambo said the petrol increases have made their businesses less profitable.

“In a day I used to spend P15 on petrol, but ever since the hike, I spend more that P200 in just one day,” he highlighted.

Zambo lamented that some routes they take are long and as a result they use more fuel, which justifies their demand for transport fare increment.  

Another taxi operator who preferred anonymity also decried that they now struggle to making a living from the taxi businesses as prices for commodities have gone up.

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