SA Taxi enters metered taxi arena & provides vehicles to small businesses owners
SA Taxi, South Africa’s only independent financier of fixed route minibus taxis and one of the country’s few certified developmental credit providers, is set to supply vehicles to those with limited access to vehicle finance, in order to assist in creating additional small business opportunities within the metered taxi arena. The initiative is expected to create at least 3 000 new sustainable businesses in the next three years.
SA Taxi aims to provide vehicles to those who may not have access to deposits to buy their own vehicle, or a credit history to qualify for conventional vehicle finance. The focus is on enabling small business owners by giving them the opportunity to build up a deposit and providing them with the necessary business advice and support to efficiently structure their income as earned from driving professionally.
Ana Bonanni, Business Development Executive at SA Taxi says “The ultimate goal is that once drivers have access to a vehicle, they go on to establish their own small businesses. Our focus is not just on creating jobs but rather incubating small businesses owners. This is the only way to create a multiplier effect for employment significant enough to bring about real transformation.”
SA Taxi’s decision to enter into the the metered taxi sector has enabled them to also provide vehicles to those interested in working on the Uber platform. SA Taxi will work with these drivers on six month short-term contracts and provide them with access to a quality vehicle. Bonanni says “We are excited to be providing drivers with this opportunity to be part of the Uber platform in South Africa – opening up and enabling more job opportunities that didn’t exist before.”
Extending its close association with Toyota SA, in the minibus taxi and bakkie industries, SA Taxi will acquire Corollas and adapt them internally with leather seating, on board cameras and bluetooth.
Any driver and vehicle operating on the Uber platform must meet the Uber requirements. Before gaining access to the platform drivers need to register with Uber. Drivers must have a valid PrDP and roadworthy certificate, undergo a secondary AFIS criminal background check, and carry comprehensive commercial insurance.
Taxi Mart, a division of SA Taxi will undertake all remodeling of the Toyota Corollas to meet the required standards. SA Taxi’s insurance division will provide specially adapted insurance cover for the cars once they are in use on the Uber platform.
“All applicants will need to have the required permits to operate and we are confident Government will be supportive in facilitating the provision of the prescribed operating permits. Our integrated internal value chain is designed specifically to reduce cost and increase revenue for our customers,” Bonanni says.
For SA Taxi, the goal is always to transition individual drivers and operators into sustainable small businesses and from the informal to the formal economy, where they can participate in better health-care and education and a broader array of lifestyle options.
The opportunities that Uber’s technology provides combined with SA Taxi’s experience of applying developmental finance provides for an exciting extension of SA Taxi’s existing customer base and also brings further benefits to the transport economy.