Ver Angola


ANATA: end of subsidies will force taxi prices to increase

The end of fuel subsidies for taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers as of April 30 will require a “price readjustment”, admitted the president of the Associação Nova Aliança dos Taxis de Angola (ANATA), without giving figures.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

Speaking to Lusa about the measure announced on Thursday, which is still being digested, Francisco Paciente admitted that taxi drivers are "very worried", given the numerous difficulties they were already experiencing, even with subsidized fuel, and that they will worsened with the removal of the 'limit' on the cards that were attributed to these professionals.

Private nine-seater taxis, known as candongueiros, and motorcycle taxis are the cheapest and most popular means of transport in Angola, especially in the capital, Luanda, where thousands of young people dedicate themselves to this activity.

"The situation will get worse on our side", lamented the ANATA leader, highlighting that taxi drivers bear all the costs of the activity, without any support from the Government, with the exception of subsidies that will be withdrawn from the end of next month.

Among the impacts of this measure, Francisco Paciente highlighted the need to readjust prices "to meet taxi management needs" and admitted more bankruptcies, which could increase the shortage of taxis.

"Luanda already has a shortage of taxis. New neighborhoods grow every day, population demand is not keeping up with the transport supply", he noted, adding that since 2021, when there were around 50,000 taxis in Luanda, the number has been increasing reduce "in the order of 35 to 40 percent".

"Therefore, there is an increasing population in the areas", he stressed.

The Government announced on June 1 last year the gradual withdrawal of the fuel subsidy, which started with gasoline, but exempted some economic activities.

These included family agropastoral activities, artisanal fishing, taxi drivers and motorcycle taxi drivers, through the delivery of cards with a daily limit of 7000 kwanzas to cover the difference between the 160 kwanzas per liter that gasoline costs and the current 300 kwanzas.

But according to Francisco Paciente, the cards were never enough for all licensed taxi drivers, as only around 10,000 were allocated.

"Many taxi drivers never received their cards, others already had a two-month delay in receiving them", he said, without specifying the total number of licensed taxi drivers in Luanda.

Regarding the next steps for taxi drivers, Francisco Paciente said that "they don't need to rush".

"The reforms are unpopular and we will have to readjust ourselves, we will have to increase taxi prices to continue with our operation, the Angolan people will pay the most expensive taxi", said the association leader, highlighting that they will meet with other organizations and the Government in the coming days.

The objective is "to find a price that satisfies the interests of taxi drivers and society in general", he said.

The presidential decree justifies the end of the exemptions with "the need to safeguard the purposes and effects of the reform of fuel prices, prevent distortions in price formation and guarantee the sustainability of public finances".

In 2022, the subsidy on fuel prices amounted to around 1.98 billion kwanzas.


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