This Women’s Month, SA Taxi, the country’s independent financier of minibus taxis, and one of the country’s few certified developmental credit providers, is celebrating its role in furthering female participation in the minibus-taxi industry.
Through its focused initiatives, SA Taxi has invested R3,5 billion into empowering female entrepreneurs in the minibus-taxi industry since 2008. During this period, SA Taxi has increased its female client base by an average of 4,5 percent per annum, helping to create 8 473 female-owned small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and financing 12 092 vehicles – an average of 1,4 vehicles per owner.
“We currently have R1,9 billion invested with 4 382 female taxi owners, who collectively operate 5 656 vehicles financed by SA Taxi,” explains communications executive Maroba Maduma.
As the country’s primary form of public transport, the local minibus-taxi industry is an important part of the local economy. However, the industry is also one of the biggest business sectors in the country, generating an estimated R50 billion in annual revenue (according to JSE-listed Transaction Capital).
“It is, therefore, a significant sector for job creation and the lifeblood of thousands of South Africans,” continues Maduma. “Each taxi in the minibus-taxi industry creates 1,8 direct jobs. This equates to 21 766 jobs created by our female entrepreneurs since 2008, with 10 180 direct jobs currently sustained in the sector run by female entrepreneurs funded by SA Taxi,” she adds.
The company’s strategy is to leverage its vertically integrated platform and proprietary technology capabilities to broaden inclusivity and create shared value opportunities to ensure the sustainability of the sector.
“To achieve this, we provide SMEs operating within the minibus-taxi industry with a complete financial and allied services offering. We also deliver significant commercial benefits to taxi operators.”
Maduma believes, however, that there is still more that can be done to uplift and empower female inclusion in the industry.
“Based on industry estimates, our female clients own just 2,8 percent of the estimated 200 000 minibus taxis that operate on our roads each day. This leaves significant scope for growth, which is why we would like to use Women’s Month to highlight the opportunities that exist in this sector for female entrepreneurs.
“Through our relentless efforts, we hope to significantly increase the presence of women in this industry, and, in so doing, continue to uplift the communities they support,” concludes Maduma.