210208This is the Noord taxi rank which has been on the news of the taxi drives assualting women of who they dress Picture:Sizwe Ndingane

Cape Town - The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has announced that it will be providing free wi-fi to commuters in taxis and around taxi ranks, according to reports.

While the project has been spearheaded by the taxi association, it is being implemented through a collaboration between Telkom, who will be providing the connections, and Wi-Taxi South Africa, who will be responsible for the infrastructure.

In an interview with Radio 702, Santaco CEO Nkululeko Buthelezi said that taxis would not increase their fares, and that the wi-fi was simply a “value-add” included in the normal fee.

The service will be funded through an advertising model, and will take around two to three years to be fully implemented across the country.

It is expected that the first taxis will be outfitted with wi-fi within the coming weeks.

According to Buthelezi, the first major rollout will take place in Gauteng, where about 5 000 taxis will be fitted with the infrastructure every month.

“If you walk into a taxi rank and you have access to wi-fi, they will be able to look for jobs and will be able to interact with their friends on a social basis.

“We believe it will contribute to the growth of the country in general, and it’s part of our contribution as the taxi industry to the development of the country,” Buthelezi was quoted as saying. - IOL