Taxi driver academy launched

2011-10-24 22:28

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.

  • dviviers - 2011-10-24 22:38

    Yes, great initiative. I hope this gets implemented throughout South Africa

      SimnikiweNtingi - 2011-10-25 05:18

      If its successful it will be implemented throughout Mzantsi of course. I like it when organisations do good. AYOBA SANTACO!!!

  • Levett - 2011-10-24 22:43

    Just another ANC plan that's going to fail. Why don't taxi drivers simply do as we direct them with a middle finger?

      Sam - 2011-10-24 23:32

      SANTACO is a non-gov taxi organisation Levett..

      Levett - 2011-10-25 00:05

      You reckon SANTACO is not full of your ANC BEE boneheads?

      SimnikiweNtingi - 2011-10-25 05:15

      @Levett...being negative is not ayoba. Lets be positive, what do we have to lose?

      tinus.kotze - 2011-10-25 07:17

      I am with Simnikiwe, it is a positive step, irrespective of reasons behind it. I am sceptical on the success, but it remains a positive step. At least there is recognition from Santaco that taxi safety has left much to desire. And just maybe pressure was put on Santaco from government's side to sort its house out, or it will be done for them through regulation. But still, who cares what the reason is - a 10% reduction in taxi accidents would mean a 5-8% reduction in road accidents in South Africa (with the little info we have on accident statistics).

  • Jackie - 2011-10-24 22:47

    mfcc! dont believe anything that these guys do, they are going to teach taxi drivers how to drag 4 or 5 people underneath their cars all at once. be very afraid....

  • Pieter - 2011-10-25 03:23

    Implementation will be key! It's a step in the right direction - ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT INITIATIVE!

  • bbcronk - 2011-10-25 05:35

    do the drivers have a union or are taxi boss just pay bad so they have only low skills drivers,

      Peter - 2011-10-25 06:14

      Taxi bosses are the problem, they are worse then the mafia and they force drivers to make a certain amount of money each day. However, the fact that the taxi drivers are either drunk or stonned when they are driving doesn't help!!!!

  • Peter - 2011-10-25 06:17

    I see that my previous comment was removed!! Is the truth to hard for some people to take??? End the taxi industry or inforce laws more harshly, get caught going over 80km and you and the taxi boss serve jail time!!!!! My personal view is to get rid of them all together!

      Ian - 2011-10-25 07:10

      100% Peter, couldnt agree with you more, they are the curse of this universe

  • swavka - 2011-10-25 07:04

    Now is this to teach them how to drive - what have they been doing? Or is this to teach them how to fly? This ain't going to work. One they will charge the earth for so called lessons and two i can see taxi drivers taking time off (when they aren't making any money) to be "trained".

  • Tony - 2011-10-25 07:38

    if a person wants decent taxi drivers on the road please dont waste our tax payers money. there is a easier solution to the problem,get our traffic officers to do their jobs properly and also to stop being scared of the taxi drivers. the corruption is so bad that the taxis own the traffic officers

  • Charles - 2011-10-25 07:43

    Excellent staff, this action must be applauded because it will assist our drivers to treat commuters with the dignity they deserve. Thumbs up!!

  • Craig - 2011-10-25 09:43

    Can't help wondering how long it will take before the generation of false certification occurs, never the less, a step in the rite direction, any additional traning can only help !

  • Peter - 2011-10-25 10:52

    Just what are they going to be taught?.... how to go faster, the best way to cut you off, how to run interference at a robot light for other taxi's?.............

  • Michelle - 2011-10-25 14:24

    Start with finding out where they bought their licenses. Maybe then this initiative will work!! Start by revoking ALL taxidrivers' licenses and retest the whole lot, with them (the drivers) paying for it!!

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