Ghana Secretly Introduces Digital Transport ‘Tax’

Following early reports on the DVLA’s introduction of the mandatory digital transport fee imposed on ride-hailing services in Ghana, we are well aware that the institution has requested a “pause” on the collection of all additional fees including the “Booking Fee”.

It might interest you to note that Bolt continues to include the “Booking fee” in their invoices, disregarding the DVLA’s order and potentially exploiting passengers during a time when the guidelines are being reviewed following public outcry. I have attached a screenshot of Bolt’s invoice featuring the “booking fee,”.

Beyond this, it also serves as an indication that the “pause” proposed by the DVLA might just be a temporary move to quiet the public outrage on the issue. We may not be surprised if the mandatory fees are reinstated seeing as Bolt has not been called to order. This blatant disregard for the DVLA’s order is concerning and could have negative implications for the ride-hailing industry in Ghana, especially the drivers’ income.

Speaking to the consequences of restoring the mandatory fee for all ride-hailing platforms, you should know that over 65% of the rides taken through ride-hailing apps are mainly short and middle-distance, and although, 1 cedi might seem a small price to pay. An analysis of the long-term implications shows that the 1 cedi increase in price amounts to a 15.5% price hike for these rides.

Breaking this further, we anticipate looming financial difficulties for drivers in the ride-hailing industry as the analysis projects a 15% decrease in ride orders, ultimately leading to a significant 30% loss in drivers’ incomes.

Therefore, it is crucial to find a balance between improving the transport sector and ensuring that drivers and customers are not negatively impacted. I urge you to consider this angle to ensure that ride-hailing companies comply with the DVLA’s regulations, as well as ensure that the DVLA’s perceived “pause” on all additional fees becomes permanent to protect passengers and maintain transparency in the industry.

Source: African Consumers United

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