South Africa’s biggest taxi association Santaco has confirmed that it plans to introduce a number of changes to how its drivers currently operate on SA roads – including the introduction of provincial training centres and a new certificate as a possible prerequisite for all drivers.
The certificate, which has already been distributed to some drivers who have completed the programme, is currently being lobbied to government as a way to help regulate parts of the industry and improve public relations.
According to Santaco spokesperson, Thabisho Molelekwa, some 3,000 drivers and operators have already passed the new training which is heavily focused on customer care and road safety rules.
He also confirmed that plans were already in place to extend the current driver’s training centre in Welkom nationally so that the association’s members could complete their training close to where they currently operate.
“Those who have been trained will act as an inspiration for those who do not currently have a certificate,” said Molelekwa.
“These drivers will also be recognised at the new South African National Taxi Awards where we will have awards for the best driver nationally, the best driver provincially etc.”
However, Molelekwa confirmed that the transformation would take time and would not be a cheap process.
“It takes a lot for one driver to go through all the training ,which includes proper customer care, road safety, conduct etc. With 300,000 members around the country we are looking at nothing less than R1 billion needed to complete the initiative.”