- Sector: Financial Services
- Country of operations: South Africa
On the road
SA Taxi offers a wide range of financial products and other services to the minibus taxi industry. Its offerings include financing to buy a taxi, specialised insurance, one of the largest taxi-only panel beaters in the country, a dealership offering new and pre-owned taxis and a parts and salvage business.
Such services are critical in South Africa, where minibus taxis account for 70% of the country’s public transport and are central to most people’s journeys to and from work. “The taxi industry will remain the dominant mode of transportation for most South Africans due to poor public transport infrastructure,” says
Terry Kier, Chief Executive.
Costs are a critical issue for the company’s customers and with that in mind, SA Taxi has set up a spare parts procurement operation, in which parts are bought in bulk and then distributed to its repair centre and its network of approved panel beaters, thereby keeping the cost of repairs to a minimum. It takes a similar approach to its salvage operations. “A big challenge for the industry is the increasing cost of running a minibus taxi, driven by high petrol prices, the purchase price of the vehicles and a shrinking economy that leads to fewer people commuting,” says Terry.
However, like all industries it is undergoing change as a result of technology, something which offers SA Taxi an opportunity to further develop its portfolio of services. In particular, the company is developing wireless services for its customers through its SA Taxi Connect division, which could lead to additional revenue-generating opportunities.
“Technology will play a bigger role in the industry, including a card payment system for commuters,” says Terry. “SA Taxi Connect is rolling out free Wi-Fi at ranks and in taxis. This gives businesses the opportunity to advertise to commuters.”