Rustenburg mayor Mpho Khunou says the municipality supports the initiative of long distance taxi associations of froming a transport company and a cooperative bank. Khunou commits that land will be avail for the taxi industry. Photo: ANA

RUSTENBURG – Six long distance taxi associations in Rustenburg in the North West have clubbed together to establish a transport company and a cooperative bank.

The chief executive officer of the newly formed Rustenburg Long Distance Transport Holdings (PTY) Ltd, Bennet Afrika, said the taxi industry had been characterised by lack of economic growth, lack of corporate identity, lack of formalisation, amongst other issues, due to the manner in which the industry was structured as a business and service provider.

"Since our political democratic dispensation of 1994, the taxi industry remains the backbone of the economy, but on the contrary, it is a business of survivalists, eating from hand to mouth whilst standing on the periphery of the economic main stream. The latter can be concluded as a deliberate organised disorder of a sleeping economic giant of the public transport sector," he said.

The transport holding would ensure that taxi drivers were trained, compliant with the Labour Relations Act, and compliance with unemployment insurance fund (UIF) amongst others.

The taxi association would also have a fuel station to supply diesel at wholesale price, and passengers would not use cash as means of payment for their journey, but use cards.

The associations also registered a cooperative bank, called Mobility Cooperative Bank, which caters for taxi owners and drivers in Rustenburg.

Rustenburg Mayor Mpho Khunou said the municipality would support the initiative by the taxi industry.

"We will support this initiative, land will be identified for the taxi industry in November, the council will consider a report on land for this purpose," he said at the launch.

He said the initiative would boost the economy of the platinum-rich city, and he also called on the taxi industry to be united.

African News Agency (ANA)