Taxi driver academy launched
Bloemfontein - A taxi driver training academy was launched by the minibus taxi organisation Santaco on Monday to deliver trained drivers from January next year.
Driver behaviour change would be a main focus at the academy in Welkom, said Jabulani Mthembu, Santaco’s president, at the opening event.
"The academy provides the taxi industry not just with a solution on solving this problem [behaviour change], but how we could resolve this through effective management systems."
Mthembu said the huge number of accidents involving taxis had prompted the industry to invest in the training and education of drivers.
"We intend to use the Santaco training academy to help the industry to drastically reduce road carnage," he said.
The taxi industry sought to enhance the requirements of the professional driver's permit (PRDP).
Taxi drivers would be required to get specific training before he or she could qualify for a PRDP.
The present PRDP system necessitated only an eye test and a check for a criminal record to get a permit.
Mthembu said the taxi industry was now moving closer to formal employment structures for taxi associations.
"We will shortly embark on a driver registration campaign that will formulate a reliable database of all taxi drivers working for the taxi industry."
He said the training programmes at the academy would help taxi drivers get jobs in other modes of the transport sector.
The academy's start would include 1 000 women who would be trained as taxi drivers in January next year.
The training classes would include customer care, communication and other related subjects aimed at providing a better service to commuters, Mthembu said.