OSHAKATI – Although the number of travellers from the northern regions who are travelling southwards has declined compared to the weekend, there is still a significant number of them stranded here due to lack of transport.
The increase in the number of travellers is partially increased by the price hike by the bus drivers.
Instead of the usual N$300, bus drivers are charging travellers to Walvis Bay at least N$330 for a single seat alone.
traveller’ luggage have an additional price depending on the volume and weight, costing up to over N$400 in some instances.
To places such as Windhoek, travellers are charged between N$300 and N$350 for single seats, however, like with many other destinations, such prices can escalate to N$500 depending on the travellers’ belongings.
During the course of the year, some buses charge between N$170 and N$250 for seats.
The price burden for the travellers is lessened by the various big buses, with some said to be charging between N$250 and N$270. However, the bigger buses are not enough to take everyone on board, forcing the masses to go for the expensive smaller buses.
While many other travellers have left with ease, those who cannot afford the new price were seen seated waiting for Samaritans with a fair price to take them along. “We do not know how the bus drivers expect us not to have luggage. Some of us have been home for more than a month and we came with children. The prices are just too much,” said Saima Martin, a traveller who was looking for a lift to Windhoek.
Another concern raised by the commuters is that bus drivers are taking two trips in a day.
“These guys are only concerned about the money they can make from this busy time; they are not really concerned about the lives they are carrying. Some of these buses are being driven to Windhoek and back to the north the same day. What time do they really get to rest properly?” queried a concerned commuter Lukas Shilongo.
Some bus drivers said although the prices have increased slightly over the festive season, they have also been taking people to various places at a negotiated price.
When New Era visited the popular spot along the Okatana road in Oshakati, many Iveco buses were spotted to be leaving the terminal.