The impact of the minibus taxi industry on youth in SA
The minibus taxi industry in South Africa is a vast public transportation system that services over 16 million commuters across each of the 9 provinces daily. Playing an important role in the economy of the country, this industry is the most important public mobility sector, being the most accessible, available and affordable.
Through the continued work of corporate social investment within the industry, various initiatives have impacted greatly on our country’s youth, particularly in education. The SA Taxi Foundation, established in 2014, focuses on education, with an array of programmes that address the many problems faced by the underprivileged.
With the support of minibus taxi associations who are always willing to collaborate on community efforts, SA Taxi Foundation identified primary schools in each province with the aim of improving early childhood development and foundational education, by donating or raising funds to procure dry sanitation systems, supplies and books. Other programmes include a Winter School aimed at supporting Grade 11 and 12 learners with career empowerment and leadership programmes designed at identifying candidates for learnership and employment opportunities. Mobile libraries set up in second-hand, low mileage vehicles have improved literacy and numeracy in primary schools that previously had no access to books.
Road safety is also of major concern, as pedestrian injury is one of the leading causes of death in children under 15. SA Taxi Foundation, together with the Road Traffic Management Corporation, has implemented road safety training to thousands of children across the country.
Donations of taxis to churches to assist with transporting learners and disabled children in rural communities to schools and healthcare facilities. A more recent project empowering young unqualified technicians at taxi ranks with formal skills training and certification provides marketable skills.
Smaller taxi associations are regularly reported in the media as giving back to the community, in various ways. Food parcels, school supplies and even laptops to top Grade 12 pupils are just some of the ways that the industry uses its ability and funding to make a real difference in the lives of South Africa’s youth.
As we commemorate the 37th Youth Day, SA Taxi and the SA Taxi Foundation encourages all South Africans to consider the means that they can use to positively influence the future of children and youth in their communities.