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Taxi industry wants 'Standard 5 dropouts' not to be hired as taxi drivers

Santaco wants to raise the academic qualification criteria of people wanting to be taxi drivers.
Santaco wants to raise the academic qualification criteria of people wanting to be taxi drivers.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Lulama Zenzile

Taxi operators have suggested that a minimum entry requirement should be adopted for drivers in order to professionalise the taxi industry.  Sizwe Nkambule, a taxi owner affiliated to the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), said this would guide the industry into making it more respectable. 

Nkambule, who was addressing taxi operators at the Gauteng Taxi Summit in Sedibeng, Vereeniging, on Thursday, said he was tired of taxi drivers who perpetuated the stereotype of drivers being uneducated and unruly towards their customers and fellow drivers. 

“There must be minimum entry requirement to be a taxi driver. We can’t be having boys who dropped out of school at Standard 5 (Grade 7) behind the wheel. The more educated you are, the better you know how to deal with people,” Nkambule said. 

He was adding on to resolutions that were taken by Santaco and the National Taxi Association on introducing best business practices and principles in the minibus taxi industry. 

MEC for roads and transport Jacob Mamabolo added that the first step in achieving this was to introduce training and re-skilling of the participants in the industry. “We need training for leaders in this industry so that they embrace business management skills and eliminate the use of violence to resolve conflict,” Mamabolo said. 

Meanwhile, Gauteng premier David Makhura said he was disappointed that the first summit held in 2016 failed to yield results.  “We had the Taxi Summit in July 2016 but I am not happy with the fact that there was no implementation of the resolutions of that summit due largely to mistrust. I don’t want the outcome of this summit to face a similar fate. This summit must not be a talk-shop,” Makhura said. 

He said the summit should be a continuation of the previous one and the engagements held between the taxi industry and the provincial government.  “The summit must, therefore, help us consolidate the gains we have made in positioning the taxi industry as a strategic partner in our overall public transport plans,” he said. 

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