Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

The enterprising Matlhogonolo Mpoloka believes he has an invention that will improve service in the taxi industry.

The 25-year-old from Dobsonville, Soweto, says he has come up with a device that will stop littering in taxis.

Mpoloka, a taxi driver himself, calls his invention the TaxiBin.

It is a bin-like bag with side pockets that can be strapped on to the taxi's roof panels so that passengers can easily reach them .

"Taxi drivers prevent passengers from eating in their vehicles because it leads to littering, which makes other passengers angry," Mpoloka says.

"I think my product will make both the passengers and drivers happy."

Mpoloka has already patented his invention with the Department of Trade and Industry.

He says the bin will resolve the problem of littering, especially on long-distance routes where, in order to save time, passengers are not permitted to stop and buy food.

"They have no choice but to eat in the vehicle, so the bin will create a more hygienic environment," Mpoloka says.

He says he always wanted to have his own business. He started printing and selling taxi stickers when he was in high school.

"I would go to Noord taxi rank during weekends to sell them," says Mpoloka, who has three brothers and two sisters. "Being raised by a single parent was not easy."

He says he recognised the taxi bin opportunity on his daily trips while transporting passengers.

"Some drivers complained about having to clean up after passengers and so forbade them to eat or drink in taxis.

"I thought about that and came up with this idea."

He says he eventually drew a sketch of a bin suitable for a vehicle.

After that he bought a welding machine and grinder at a pawn shop, a sack material, wire and strings to work on his product.

He says one bin costs between R30 and R40 to manufacture.

Mpoloka says: "I want to make taxi operators aware of the product.

"This is an efficient way of keeping commuters happy and taxis clean."