Here’s how many taxis are now on South Africa’s roads – and how much they earn

As part of a recent parliamentary Q&A session, minister of transport Blade Nzimande released statistics on how many registered mini-bus taxis are currently operating on South Africa’s roads.

According to the minister, in terms of approved operating licenses on government’s systems there are approximately 130,996 mini-bus taxis working across the country.

Just under 25% (31,519) of these mini-bus taxis are operating in Gauteng – which, despite being the economic hub, is also South Africa’s smallest province.

KwaZulu-Natal has the second highest number of operators (27,778), followed by Mpumalanga (15,175),  and the Western Cape (14,012), according to to Nzimande.

However, it should be noted that these numbers exclude ‘unofficial’ operators which means that the total number of mini-bus taxis on South Africa’s roads is likely much higher.

In March 2017, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) estimated that there are more than 200,000 minibus taxis in South Africa – generating more than R90 billion every year.

You can find the full provincial breakdown detailed below.

Province Number of mini-bus taxis in province
Gauteng 31 519
 KwaZulu-Natal 27 778
Mpumalanga 15 175
Western Cape 14 012
Eastern Cape 12 011
Limpopo 10 970
North West 9 709
Free State 7 992
Northern Cape 1 830
Total 130 996

How much taxi drivers earn

The department of labour last updated its minimum wages for taxi drivers and other taxi employees at the end of October 2017.

According to the minimum wage requirements, drivers earn:

  • Monthly: A minimum of R3,413.26
  • Weekly: A minimum of R787.73;
  • Hourly: A minimum of R16.41.

However many taxi associations don’t strictly adhere to the minimum wage structure, with pay determined by various local taxi associations and their operational level, as well as the routes drivers travel 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.

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

In March 2017, Santaco estimated that each taxi makes an annual revenue of approximately R450,000 for their respective operators.

Read: What would South Africa look like if taxis were connected?

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Here’s how many taxis are now on South Africa’s roads – and how much they earn