South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) is piloting a new cashless payment system for minibus taxis, in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
The project is being conducted by TaxiChoice, the commercial division of Santaco, and aims to install a new card payment system in all local taxis over the next few years, writes the Natal Witness.
The Grand Westgate Taxi Association, which operates 113 taxis in the city, is piloting the project, which Santaco hopes to have in as many as 100,000 taxis by March 2016.
According to the Natal paper, in excess of 200,000 taxis generate an as much as R90 billion annually in fares.
The industry has however, come under a lot of criticism because of a lack of regulation, leading to questions of how the industry is properly taxed.
The ‘Fair Pay’ smart-card payment system aims to bring what is mostly an informal industry into the tax net.
According to Business Day, taxi owners lose between 35%-50% of fares that are pocketed by drivers through a cash based system.
Santaco aims to install a card machine in all minibus taxis within the next five years, at a cost exceeding R2 billion.
Each cardholder will be able to use the Fair Card to conduct up to R3,000 of transactions on a monthly basis, Business Day’s motoring journalist, Mark Smyth said.