How much money taxi drivers really make in South Africa

 ·31 Jan 2016
Bad taxi

New light has been shed on how much minibus taxi drivers earn in South Africa – and it’s surprisingly low.

Alpheus Mlalazi, general secretary of the Ntional Taxi Alliance told Tak702 that drivers are paid in accordance with various local taxi associations and their operational level ,and also depending on their routes.

He said that the taxi industry, through the labour relations act, is under sectoral determination whereby minimum wages across the board is around R1,400 per month.

He pointed out that the taxi industry has been found to pay well above that wage.

His comments come following reports that the Labour Department is looking into implementing minimum wages for taxi drivers.

When asked about whether taxi drivers get paid per passenger: Mlalazi said that payment methods vary from one association to another. He said some receive a fixed salary of anything between R800 – R1,000 per week.

Some, he said, are paid in accordance with the takings of the taxi – between 25%-30% of the takings per week.

BusinessTech has spoken to two Soweto residents who said that many taxi owners rent out their taxis to drivers for a fixed fee per month – R10,000. The drivers take any additional profits on top of that amount, plus petrol costs.

In more rural areas, a driver reportedly makes about R8,000 per month.

It is widely reported that South Africa has approximately 250,000 minibus taxis on the roads, ferrying more than 15 million people everyday.

Moneyweb reports that the average daily revenue for a taxi is between R1,000 – R2,500, before fuel costs.

Corruption Watch reported in 2012 that taxi owners demanded R800 a day from each driver in his fleet, with any additional earnings retained by the driver.

The organisation said that the average urban taxi driver earns between R1,500 and R2,000 per month, which can go up to R6,000 a month if the driver is paid R200 a day, as some are.

Mlalazi warned that should the taxi industry be forced to comply with new provisions of the labour relations act – including an increase in minimum wage and new tax reforms, it would have to be subsidized like other modes of transport.

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