ONGWEDIVA - A number of holidaymakers once again found themselves stranded at Oshakati due to a lack of transport. The travellers packed Oshakati loading zones at the weekend in the hope of finding space in any available vehicle, including privately owned cars. New Era understands some bus operators were charging as much as N$600 in fares for those travelling back to Windhoek. Many travellers based at coastal towns such as Walvis Bay and Swakopmund also struggled with transport. Some travellers, however, complained that the transport fares of some of the buses were unaffordable. Maria Shilunga, who was looking for a lift for her 10-year-old daughter heading back to school at Keetmanshoop, said she had seen some bus assistants asking travellers to pay N$800 instead of N$500. “Leaders of bus associations have to seriously look into this matter.
Where are we going to get that kind of money to pay the bus this time of January; we have a lot of responsibilities,” Shilunga said. Shilunga asked bus owners to display fares between towns in every bus to prevent citizens from being cheated. One of the drivers Amini Sem, who drives between Windhoek and Oshakati, said it is not true that travellers are asked to pay extra. “The normal bus fare for a person going to Windhoek from Oshakati or from Windhoek to Oshakati is N$270,” he said, adding that even if one were to charge for luggage and others, the fare would be less than 350. Some of the stranded travellers expressed frustration that they cannot get transport to their destinations on time, as the available buses and mini-buses refuse to take along those who are travelling shorter distances to places such as Tsumeb and Otavi.