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Shareholding drives Taxi Live Africa’s aspirations

On-demand e-hailing app Taxi Live Africa has announced a shareholding scheme for drivers based on 40% profit share to be split equally between drivers and owners with dividends paid out every three months.

Company founder Luvuyo Ntshayi said Taxi Live Africa is the only e-hailing service provider in South Africa that recognises drivers as shareholders.

“Drivers qualify for a shareholding upon their approval. Drivers and owners receive monthly financial performance reports of the company within the first seven days of each month, this report also includes a driver’s performance assessment .To benefit from the shareholding drivers and owners need to (meet) certain targets that are specified on their contracts to ensure their equal contribution and return benefits.”

The company first launched in Durban in June 2019 and has since expanded to Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Ntshayi said since the company’s soft launch in Johannesburg on 24 July 2020, it has been busy with the registration of new drivers.

“Currently we have registered 6 874 with us since our first launch in Durban last … setting another record of signup more than 1000 drivers in Johannesburg within one week,” he said.

While the company is focused primarily on gaining ground within the South African market, the plan is to eventually expand across the continent.

Ntshayi said the company will continue to focus on South Africa in the next six months, and will soon announce launch dates for Cape Town, East London, Port Elizabeth and George.

Access to COVID-19 relief fund

In early April 2020 ITWeb reported that disgruntled ride-hailing drivers from Uber and Bolt were lobbying government to allow them to be included in the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Ntshayi believes the South African government, specifically the Department of Transport, is doing a good job in regulating the taxi industry, including e-hailing service providers and operators.

“My view on a relief fund is that (the) SA government - especially the department of transport under the leadership of Hon Mr Fikile Mbalula - is doing a good job towards regulating the taxi industry which includes e-hailing service providers and operators. As a founder and CEO of Taxi Live Africa, I am pretty much involved in discussions to regulate the industry working directly with the Minister’s office, his task team and other affected stakeholders.”

“I strong believe that formalisation of the taxi industry is needed, which requires regulation. One of the things that I believe and have already proposed to the government is that it should be included on the government regulation that all e-hailing service providers who profiteer from the taxi industry should give a 40% share of their business to drivers and owners.”

Market rivalry

Asked about local competition and the well-known rivalry that exists between traditional and metered taxi operators and e-hailing service providers, Ntshayi said the company is not concerned about the fights and its strategy is to empower both parties.

“….in JHB and Pretoria we have introduced Taxi Live Africa to the meter taxi operators and we understand their problem of not being able to purchase new vehicles that can meet the normal requirement that (vehicles) cannot be more than five years old. Taxi live Africa we allow cars up to ten years old and of cause all cars are subject to inspection to ensure they are in a good looking and driving condition to carry passengers. Due to the mutual respect and continuous engagement with other stakeholders our drivers have never experienced violence from the meter or taxi industry.”

“We believe in socialism and creating real entrepreneurs in our society" Ntshayi added.

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