The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) in KwaZulu-Natal has started installing surveillance cameras in its taxis to improve passenger and driver safety.
The installation comes in time for the festive season when long-distance trips between Durban and outlying areas and other provinces are expected to increase.
So far, about 70 taxis in Durban have had cameras installed to monitor drivers. The owner of the vehicle uses an app to access critical footage showing the vehicle’s speed.
SANTACO’s Sfiso Shangase explains, ‘’We took the decision that is going to be imperative for us to ensure the safety within our vehicles, we then said cameras could be a solution to such. Firstly, we can be able to view anything that is happening within the vehicle itself. When the driver is driving the vehicle, it is going to be deterrent itself because the speed that he is going to be using and the pattern when he drives, you could be able to view it as the owners of the vehicles.”
One passenger said, ‘’We are happy because we know now that we are safe as there are many things that are happening in taxis, some pretend to be passengers, but they are thieves. I wish the programme can be rolled out throughout the province.
Taxi driver Xolani Sithole says, ‘’I really like the programme because if there is something that happened in the taxi, cameras will reveal the truth. It also protects passengers and avoids accidents. Even drivers who drink alcohol cannot do that in the vehicle.’’
The taxi industry is also looking to use technology to improve how passengers pay their fares.