How the employment of women empowers females in driving the nation forward
Women are the minority in the minibus taxi industry, but many feel this must change. Although women sometimes ‘end up’ in the industry through the passing of their husbands who owned taxis, it is not the only gateway into an industry that could benefit from a more balanced gender profile.
Last year, the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) offered a training programme to one hundred women-owned taxi companies. The training assisted with registering these businesses with CIPC and SARS as well as helping the ladies develop business plans and marketing material. Equipping them with tools like business diagnosis, monetary management, and business management skills allows these small businesses to flourish.
As is typical with women, the skills and knowledge gained will not be a secret. Other women will be educated through the engagement with trained women, spreading the word and putting into practice the necessary requirements to get their businesses compliant. Women have typically been the supporting structure behind the men in the minibus taxi sector and have often had to assume business responsibilities with no business training or skills development.
Thandazile Buthelezi, Chairlady of the Nqutu Pioneer Taxi Association, said in an interview with the Commuter Taxi and Bus industries CTU, that women can achieve anything they set their minds to.
“This is an industry which requires skill, Ubuntu, respect, and patience as any other business does. As women, we are capable, strong enough, and will naturally bring a breath of fresh air to the industry.”
Taxi associations need to get on board with the empowerment of women in the minibus taxi industry. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, attending the recent SANTACO conference, believes that the participation of women in the taxi industry should be normalised. SA Taxi continues to invest in female Taxipreneurs, with assistance in vehicle financing. There is significant scope for growth – let’s watch this space!