A little patience, caring and a smile - this is all it takes to be a good taxi driver, according to Jan Jiyane from Middelburg, Mpumalanga.
Jiyane, 30, who describes himself as well-mannered and friendly, won a new Toyota Quantum minibus yesterday after he was chosen as Brandhouse Number One Taxi Driver.
"I was brought up in a house where human beings were respected. I also enjoy my work because I treat people with dignity and respect everyday."
Jiyane has been transporting passengers from Middelburg to areas in Limpopo for the past nine years. He starts work at six in the morning and knocks off late in the evening.
Jiyane, who works for his brother, has always wanted to have his own business.
He said the 16-seater minibus, which complies with all specifications for the taxi recapitalisation programme, has fallen in the right hands.
Jiyane and other eight regional winners from other provinces went through a gruelling advanced and defence driving course.
He, however, outperformed all of them and won the coveted title. Second place went to Stanley Ntambo from KwaZulu-Natal while Josef Moya from the Northern Cape came third.
The Middelburg United Long Distance Taxi Association won a R5000 prize money.
His brother and employer, Elias Jiyane, also walked away with a R5000 cheque.
The association has welcomed Jiyane to join them and operate on their routes.
The competition took place in more than 200 taxi ranks countrywide, with more than 500 taxi drivers receiving training while also being assessed.
The drivers were assessed by provincial road safety officials on theoretical and practical driving tests.