Workers’ Day: An industry that has continued to serve the nation’s workforce through thick and thin
On the 1st of May South Africa joins the rest of the world in commemorating Workers’ Day (also Labour Day or May Day) – recognising workers rights and reminding us of the critical role that trade and labour unions played in the fight against inequality.
In the context of South Africa, the minibus taxi industry emerged in the wake of the apartheid government’s policy of economic deregulation, in 1987, popular for its late night services, reasonable fares and convenience . Minibus taxis are for many an indispensable mode of transport, moving people from their homes to places of work on a daily basis.
The COVID lockdown in 2020 had a major economic impact on the taxi industry, one from which it has not yet recovered, but despite regulations and restrictions, this form of public transport has persevered. As life returns to a pre-COVID normality, minibus Taxipreneurs continue to service the many commuters who rely on their offering.
Workers’ Day may be a public holiday, but many people employed in the retail and service industries still need to work, and the minibus taxi industry is there to provide the transport. And that, of course, includes the many minibus taxi drivers, who work long hours, who often only get one day off a week.
This Workers’ Day, let’s acknowledge an industry that truly serves the workers of our nation – nearly 70% of South African commuters!