How much taxi drivers earn in South Africa

 ·6 Nov 2017

The department of labour has updated its minimum wages for taxi drivers and other taxi employees.

Taxi drivers can expect an around a 5.7% increase year-on-year, with increases applying retrospectively from the end of October 2017.

The new increases mean that drivers’ minimum wage will increase from:

  • Monthly: R3,218.57 to R3,413.26;
  • Weekly: R742.80 to R787.73;
  • Hourly: R15.47 to R16.41.

In comparison, rank marshals’ minimum wage will increase monthly from R2,564.33 to R2,728.45; weekly from R591.81 to R629.68 and hourly from R12.32 to R13.11, the department said.

The new boarding allowance – where an employer requires an employee sleep over at a place other than where the employee resides – will increase from R349.70 to R372.08.

According to a 2016 BusinessTech report, many taxi associations don’t strictly adhere to the minimum wage structure, with pay determined by various local taxi associations and their operational level, and also the routes drivers are on.

In addition, some driver pay is determined by the takings of the taxi – between 25%-30% of the takings per week – while others pay a flat monthly rental fee (R10,000 in January 2016), with drivers taking any additional profits on top of that amount, plus petrol costs.

How much a taxi makes

The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) previously reported  that there are more than 200,000 minibus taxis in South Africa‚ generating more than R90 billion every year.

The actual figure is unknown because the industry in South Africa is largely unregulated, with no set fare among taxis and routes.

Based on this figure, each taxi makes an annual revenue of approximately R450,000.

Assuming that the taxi is in operation every day of the year, bar Christmas, the average income stream for a taxi in SA, is around R1,236 per day, or R37,500 per month.

In addition, SATaxi states that each taxi creates seven jobs related to the industry, but reports show that taxi owners lose between 35%-50% of fares that are pocketed by drivers through a cash-based system.

Read: How much it costs to catch a minibus taxi on major routes in Gauteng

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