There are reports indicating that Kombis in some suburbs of Bulawayo have hiked their fares from around $5 to $15. The affected suburbs include Cowdray Park. The 300% hike came because ZUPCO buses which charge $1 per trip are no longer servicing the suburb because of the bad state of the roads.
ZUPCO bus owners who are contracted to the government simply withdrew their buses as the state of the roads in the area are so bad to the extent that repair costs started sky-rocketing. This left residents of the area at the mercy of kombi operators who quickly exacted their “revenge” by hiking fees with some blaming them for abandoning kombis in preference of buses when buses were still servicing the routes.
Kombi operators contented that the $15 charge was fare given the distance involved.
The kombi operators still servicing the area are taking a risk because they are damaging their vehicles. Our charges are fair because Esigodweni is almost in Nyamandlovu. The fare cannot be the same as for those coming from Mzilikazi or Mpopoma suburbsOne Kombi driver who spoke to the Chronicle
Residents lamented the fact that the ZUPCO buses withdrew just as schools were about to open. This means that parents will have to fork out more money for day school kids who commute to CBD schoools.