Sub-Sectors | Taxi | Overview | Contacts
Scope of the Taxi Industry
Taxi industry represents an industry in which employers – taxi operators, associations and cooperatives just to name key - and employees – drivers, queue marshals, patrollers and administrators to name key - are associated for the purposes of transporting passengers by road for reward in vehicles other than buses. The sub sector includes the following modes of transport mini bus taxis, metered taxis, scholar transport, shuttle services and chauffeur drivers.
04 March 2014 the Department of transport issued a statement that the Minister is on record that “the taxi industry responds to the transport needs of the poorest of the poor, as it reaches routes right where our people stay. Furthermore the taxi industry transports in excess of 16 million passengers daily, the single biggest public transport mode, ensuring access for our people to services and economic opportunities.”
About 185 000 people work in the minibus taxi industry in South Africa. These workers provide the main form of public transport in the country. The largest group of workers is drivers. In addition to drivers, there are queue marshals, car washers and administrative workers. In some parts of the country there are also fare collectors. About 95% of workers in the taxi industry are African. Less than 2% are women. Many of the women do administrative work for the taxi associations. Very few drivers are self-employed. Most work for a taxi owner and are paid wages. However, very few taxi owners have a formal written contract of employment (International Labour Organization 2003, second impression 2004).
There are four fundamental challenges faced by TETA in facilitating skills development in the Taxi Industry and for the industry to benefit; namely
1. Low participation in skills development initiative
There are currently only 214 taxi businesses registered with South African Revenue Services (SARS) under TETA in terms of the Standard Industry Classification Code and of this number only 14 are paying skills levies and only 5 are participating in skills development through submission of Workplace Skills Plans (WSP) and Annual Training Reports (ATR) in terms of the Skills Development Act. Most of these companies come from the metered taxi industry and one from Chauffer services.
2. Low skills levy base versus high skills needs
Majority of Taxi businesses are small and below the threshold set by the Skills Levy Act for payment of skill levies. Currently the industry contributes less than R 450 000, 00 in levies per annum which is less than 1% of total TETA levy income. The bulk of the contributions come from the metered taxis.
There is an estimated 185 000 - 300 000 economically active people employed in the industry who are in need of skills development against the above available budget. There is a need to regulate employee entry into the industry through prescribed minimum training such a customer relations and road safety.
3. TETA’S ability to reach the wide spread industry.
The industry coverage of public transport of passengers is widely incorporated into ALL economic activities of the nine provinces in South Africa; from rural to metropolitan areas. There is bound to be a taxi business everywhere in South Africa and TETA has physical presence only in Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal and Western Cape.
Establishment of functional training committees and the role of provincial and regional training officers within taxi structures need to be prioritised. These structures, with the assistance of TETA, need to be tasked with the transformation agenda of the industry through skills development and training.
4. Taxi businesses more so minibuses are not fully registered as companies and or are incorrectly registered in terms of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) requirements
The perception in the industry is that only an operating license is necessary to be regarded as a business. Therefore most taxi operators do not bother to own businesses in terms of South African Companies Act. Most businesses operate as sole proprieties from personal accounts as opposed with business accounts.
Drivers are hired on the basis that they possess a driver’s license and a permit to transport the public – Professional Driver’s Permit (PrDP). Drivers enter into informal and verbal contracts with employers making it difficult for contribution and collection of skills levies and other statutory deductions such as Unemployment Insurance Fund etc.
A continuous advocacy and awareness drive on the provisions of the Skills Development Act and Unemployment Insurance Act and other pieces of legislation that may assist the taxi industry is underway through partnership and collaboration between TETA and UIF. Other government entities such as the Road Accident Fund, Office of the Public Protector and Economic Development are brought in.
Chamber Management Committee - TETA board sub-committee – comprise of representatives from South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) – 3 members, South African Meter Taxi Association (SAMTA) - 1, South African Transport Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) - 4, Department of Transport officials - 1 and the Chairperson who is a full member of the TETA Board.