The reckless driving of South African taxi drivers might “drive” pedestrians and fellow drivers “around the bend” but in truth they provide an huge service to the country. Sadly, although these drivers drive like they don’t have licences it’s also a double edged sword because South Africa knows the country wouldn’t survive without them. Public transport is a joke in South Africa, busses are slow, inconsistent and few and far between. Trains are packed and can not cater to the TRUE amount of people who should use them let alone with the passengers they now currently carry. This is why the taxis in South Africa play such a vital role.
Now most people assume taxi means cabs, this isn’t the case in South Africa. Cabs are cars that you pay to carry you from one specific destination to another, which you pay for per kilometer. A taxi is usually a minibus that has a set route which you can jump onto and pay a set fee for this route. Taxis run down every major main road, highway and national road in South Africa. Carrying dozens of people home to where they live in the cities or to their more rural homes in neighbouring provinces.
Taxi drivers pay their unions from Monday – Friday but on Saturdays they drive for themselves. All the money they make on a Saturday they keep. It’s a tough business as a certain profit is expected from their bosses and these pressures contribute to their wreckless style, endangering other drivers and their own passengers on an hourly basis. When a taxi driver DOES use their indicator and doesn’t stop in the middle of a lane, it lifts everybody’s mood and makes the public feel positive about their service. Polite drivers aren’t often spotted (I don’t think ‘blind spot’ or K53 driving method are two prerequistes for driving a taxi in South Africa) but that is all changing with a brand new initiative –
I found this video on Twitter and it gives me hope! I tried to find out more information but got no reply.
We need these services but we need them to be safer even more. Why spend millions of taxes on new transport systems if we can improve the safety and experience of the already thorough taxi service? Stricter laws and ensuring the drivers have valid licences is a lot cheaper and are the livelihood for hundreds of South African families. So let’s improve it together by supporting this initiative.