South Africa: SA Taxi Industry - Lost in the Boardroom?


It's time for a quantum leap more inspiring than state subsidies and powerless black empowerment deals in the taxi industry. The key is where the rubber hits the road.

A look through the minibus rearview mirror shows that the reverence of the South African taxi industry for large corporates ranks higher than what is conferred to government.

About a fortnight ago, a group of hardworking men, acknowledged for waking up pre-dawn and washing their faces with cold water before jumping in the minibus, got up fuming.

The fellows known for aggressively pressing on minibus accelerator pedals with their sandal-clad feet could not take it anymore. It was as if someone had stepped on their sore corns and callouses.

Armed with an overloaded list of demands enough to overfill a taxi, the operators requested, among other things, that South Africa's leader of traffic officials, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula put up a big red stop sign over the repossession of their commercial vehicles by lenders.

Here is the sad irony.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), a national body representing taxi operators, owns a 25% equity position in leading minibus financier, SA Taxi. Asking Mbalula, a non-shareholder, to intervene on credit...

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