Any partnership that seeks to simultaneously create employment, advance skills development and maximise road safety is seen as a positive contribution in the taxi industry that values jobs, skills and safety.
This was reiterated by MEC for public works, roads, and transport in Mpumalanga Mohita Latchminarain on 22 October 2021 when TOPSTAR Taxi Association in Nelspruit warmly received a Tyre Fitment Centre established for Mbombela Taxi Rank by SA Taxi Foundation.
Cognisant of the fact that,COVID-19 resulted in lockdown restrictions which negatively affected trips, loads and ultimately affected the industry’s earning power, SA Taxi Foundation sought to forge a different kind of partnership, and one that gives taxi associations another way to earn and create employment, while continuing to do what they have always done.
South African taxi ranks boast a unique and powerful ecosystem, with the aid of the right resources, socio economic issues such as unemployment and gender-based violence can be curbed. The Foundation has been working with local taxi associations towards the economic empowerment for these associations and the gradual cleanup of the taxi ranks where they operate.
The fitment centre will open doors for employment opportunities in the technical space, whilst providing services to minibus taxi operators who will be looking to ascertain that their vehicles will be in good condition for their daily commuter trips.
A proud MEC Latchminarain and Chairperson of the association Mr.J.M Vundla took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially launch and handover the fitment centre as it was declared a business that’s ready to operate. Both the MEC and Chairperson have hopes that this business will thrive successfully with the main goal achieved for taxi operators to repair and replace tyres without having to leave the rank. The container came fitted with a tyre fitting machine and wheel alignment equipment.
MEC Latchminarain said: “The importance of having tyres in good condition in any vehicle prevents accidents and fatalities on the road. The economic impact of this fitment centre will allow an opportunity for the association to look into expanding the operational technical side of things by adding more machinery, we hope other taxi associations in the country will be exposed to this type of initiative in the near future. We as government are ready to work with the private sector to build roads, improve infrastructure and eradicate poverty”.
Chairperson Mr.J.M Vundla said “Were very thankful to SA Taxi Foundation for this partnership and introducing an innovative business venture that will last for years to come. Taxi Ranks are worth far more than they seem, when recognition from the private sector is received, it’s a good indication that we as industry are also playing our part within the economy”.
Maroba Maduma Group Communications Executive at SA Taxi says” the organisation is always keen to take part in such initiatives that give back to both the industry and community. The sustainability and growth of the industry has proved to be an important vessel in the public transport sector. SA Taxi Foundation is proud of the partnership with Topstar Tyre centre and the City of Mbombela, we hope to continue to make a great impact within the ecosystem of taxi ranks as a strategic partner in the industry.”