Minibus taxi owners in Rustenburg, North West, have joined hands to make life easier for those in the industry. Some call them bosses of the road, while others say they are the most reckless drivers.
Tired of having their minibus taxis repossessed or stuck next to the road or on top of bricks, these taxi owners decided to formalise their trade and register a company.
Six long-distance taxi associations have formed the Rustenburg Long Distance Transport Holdings. They are in the process of registering a bank and opening a tire manufacturing company.
They already have a diesel depot, where over 2000 taxis in Rustenburg buy their fuel.
57-year-old father of six, Jan Mosiane, a former policeman, resigned from his job 30 years ago to join the taxi industry.
Mosiane knows the difficulties of having his minibus taxi repossessed, or for it to be stuck for months while struggling to find money to repair it.
He says, “The most important thing about our bank is that our cars will no longer be repossessed.”
The venture will benefit taxi owners, who will be able to get a loan from the bank, which is a subsidiary of the holdings, to buy new taxis or spare parts when their vehicles get stuck. Also, employees, such as taxi operators will be registered, have accounts with the bank and even have home loans from the bank at lower rates.
This initiative has been welcomed by the owners and operators of minibus taxis.
“The system of management of vehicles is going to be safer, cheaper, as we will have a bank which belongs to the group itself, the holdings. We need benefits as drivers. Rustenburg Transport Holdings as it has been formed will benefit us as the drivers.”
The Marketing Director of Rustenburg Long Distance Transport Holdings, Itumeleng Lekgetho, says it’s high time that those with the know-how in the taxi industry to take charge.
“We have formed these holdings because we saw that our people are suffering. If one of our members wants to buy a car or house and they go to the bank, they ask you so many questions, your bank statements and then you don’t qualify. We discussed this and said gentlemen, ‘let’s do something that can benefit us.’”
The company is now in the process of registering a mobility primary corporative bank with the Reserve Bank. But for now, the plan is for it to only benefit its members and employees.