Cape Town - Taxi drivers in Bonteheuwel are being called on to pledge their support for a project aimed at giving pensioners over 70 years old free rides.
The initiative started by taxi guard, Yaseen Abrahams, 25, is gaining momentum after the pilot project was launched on Wednesday night.
Abrahams made headlines in March after his Facebook post in which he appealed to drivers and taxi bosses to help struggling pensioners went viral.
The post was applauded by residents across Cape Town and Abrahams told the Daily Voice that along with driver Ashraf Cassiem, 38, they have been allowing struggling elderly people to ride without paying “for a long time”.
The duo said as long as they meet the targets set by the taxi owner, David Roman, they were free to assist the pensioners.
They challenged other drivers, saying “if skollies could get free rides then so could pensioners”.
Since then Abrahams and Roman have been hard at work setting up the pilot project, called “Taxi Give Back”.
This week they called on 30 legal taxi drivers and their taxi guards to sign up.
On Thursday Abrahams visited Apricot Place Old Aged Home where he explained the concept to pensioners.
Grandmother Mary Kannemeyer, 70, who has been in a wheelchair for more than 10 years, says getting around to hospitals and shops is difficult for her.
“We sukkel (struggle) a lot and don’t always have money for taxi fare because we only get a Sassa pension. My husband, Gert, 81, pushes me and we walk to the shops and the hospital because we cannot afford (a taxi). But this is a nice plan and I think a lot of people will be grateful,” the granny says.
The team is now hoping that taxi bosses from other communities like Manenberg, Elsies River and Bishop Lavis will take up the pledge.
“This is about giving something back and it is not nice to see people struggle,” says Abrahams.
“I am hoping that taxi bosses and drivers in other areas also come on board and we can make this a success. So far we have six drivers in Bonteheuwel who have signed up.”
If you would like to sign up, call Roman on 072 127 8422.