The Tshwane region launched its sticker campaign with provincial public relations officer Midday Mali saying they were responding to the Department of Community Safety’s complaint that their vehicles were unidentifiable on the road.
“The purpose of this launch is so that our vehicles are easily identified for the safety of our commuters and operators on the road," Mali said. "We want our commuters to be able to identify easily which vehicles operate as taxis and which ones do not."
He said the launch was done primarily for the safety of commuters and taxi operators on the road.
“Any taxi that causes uneasiness for commuters is regarded as ours, which it is not always the case," he said. “So the stickers would make it easy to know which minibuses belong to our organisation and which ones don't.”
Bringing change in the industry
Wednesday’s sticker launch was the start of the provincial initiative to brand Santaco's taxis; other regions are set to launch their stickers soon.
Each taxi will carry a stickers on the front and another at the back; Mali explained that the one at the back was so that anyone driving behind their vehicle would also know that the taxis belonged to Santaco.
“We want to be visible and to bring change in the industry for the better," he said. "We want other people to assist us as to how we can improve our services or driving because we will now be recognisable.”
Marketing officer Thabo Moila said they were aware that chancers were going to try to copy their stickers and put them on their vehicles.
“We are not scared of any chancers who will do this," he said, "because we are confident of the quality of our stickers.”
There was a device that identified which sticker was genuine and which one was not, he said.
Minibus taxis have been in the news for criminal activities involving the abduction and rape of women in recent months. They are also the target of the #SafeTaxis Campaign, launched in Gauteng to encourage women to be careful when they board the public vehicles and for taxi operators to eliminate criminal elements operating under their name.
After the official launch on Wednesday representatives from the organisation went to the Bloed Street mall, Marabastad and Bosman stations to put the stickers on all taxis that belonged to their organisation. All minibus taxis are expected to have stickers by August.