SA's taxi driver training academy
TAXI ACADEMY: SA's taxi academy hopes to boost customer service as well as reduce road deaths by training potential taxi drivers.
BLOEMFONTEIN - A taxi-driving academy has been launched by the minibus taxi organisation Santaco with the intention of delivering trained drivers from January 2012.
The first 1000 candidates will be women.
Santaco's president, Jabulani Mthembu, said at the opening event that driving behaviour would be a focus at the academy in Welkom.
"The academy provides the taxi industry not only with a solution to this problem," he said, "but also how we could resolve it through effective management.
"We intend to use the Santaco training academy to help the industry to drastically reduce road carnage. We will embark on a driver registration campaign."
Santaco wants to raise the requirements needed for a professional driver's permit. Drivers would be required to go through specific training regime before being issued with a permit.
The current system requires only an eye test and a check for a criminal record.
Mthembu said the taxi industry was also moving closer to formal employment for drivers.
The academy would begin with 1000 women to be trained as drivers in time for January, 2012. Classes would teach customer care, communication and other related subjects to provide better service.