The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says it is time for them to embrace technology to make their services better and safer.
This was announced by Santaco KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Sifiso Shangase, referring to the initiative that has been taken by the South Beach and North Beach Taxi Association to install security cameras this December.
The cameras enable taxi owners and managers to monitor via an app what is happening in the taxi in real-time, which includes the behaviour of the drivers and their driving patterns.
Owners can communicate with passengers through the app and even stop their taxis remotely if they detect a problem.
About 70 taxis have been equipped with these cameras. Shangase said this is something that they have been discussing at a provincial level as a way of ensuring the safety of their passengers.
He said installing security cameras will assist the association in dealing with any complaints and incidents that may occur.
“The cameras will provide evidence and will make it easier for us to deal with any cases,” he said.
According to The Witness, Shangase said the aim now is to bring the taxi industry up to international standards with the aid of technology.
When you look at the times we are living in now, it is important that we also move to the fourth industrial revolution. We want to put the safety of our passengers first and we want them to feel safe when boarding our taxis.
He said, as an association, they would like to see other associations across the province do the same to ensure the safety of all passengers.
“We want to improve the industry because, one day, we want to use smart cards instead of cash.”
The Witness has previously reported on an incident where a 21-year-old woman was assaulted and strangled by a conductor in a taxi in Durban.
Promise Luswazi, originally from Pretoria, was going home from work late when the incident occurred.
Recently, two other women were assaulted and raped, allegedly by a taxi driver and his friend, in KwaDukuza, on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast.
The Citizen/The Witness