Gas station owners on alert for possible closures

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Gas station owners are on high alert for a possible gas station closure this week.

Last week there was talk on social media of petrol station owners threatening a nationwide shutdown, due to narrow profit margins on fuel sales compared to fuel offloading costs at ports, at 8 N$.00 per litre.

Windhoek-based petrol station owner Leon van Zyl said on Friday there might be no petrol sold for the whole week.

He sent a notice to his customers advising them to fill up over the weekend to avoid any inconvenience that may arise from the strike.

“The proposed strike results from the fact that the various actors involved in the regulation of fuel prices and margins refuse to recognize that the increase in the price of fuel, without relief for the owners of service stations, could lead to the permanent closure of many gas stations,” he said.

Last week, the Namibian Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) also threatened to strike from July 26 for an indefinite period, depending on the government’s response to its demand for a 40% increase in taxi fares. cabs.

The Namibian Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta), which represents both owners and taxi drivers, is busy with high-level engagements for possible solutions to the high cost of fuel.

Nabta General Secretary Pendapala Nakathingo said the fuel increase is a sensitive issue that has national repercussions.

“Nabta consults and engages our members and other stakeholders, especially the fuel industry, to build consensus and gain momentum for what we need to do. Not just to threaten the government.

He said Nabta will meet with the Ministry of Mines and Energy today.

“This meeting will determine whether to strike or not.”

Nakathingo said discussions on taxi fare increases would also take place with the Ministry of Works and Transport, however ministry spokesman Julius Ngweda told The Namibian he had no yet received request from taxi operators asking for an increase in fares.

He said the only application submitted was from the NTTU, which cannot be considered as it is a union of taxi drivers and not vehicle owners.

“Under the Transportation Act, licensees or operators have the mandate to seek and apply for fare increases. NTTU is a trade union representing drivers’ rights. They don’t have vehicles, they just represent the workers.

Ngweda advised the NTTU to approach vehicle owners to increase drivers’ salaries and improve their working conditions.

He advised the public to report any taxi drivers caught overcharging passengers.

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