Ndebele: Taxi airline will promote BEE

2011-07-01 17:55

Johannesburg - The launch of a low cost airline by the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) will help to bring the black-owned taxi industry more firmly into the mainstream economy, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Friday.

"We have repeatedly been asking: where are blacks and particularly Africans? We have constantly maintained that the taxi industry, which is black-owned, controlled and run, cannot forever remain at the margins in economic terms," he said.

"We believe the taxi industry is a key player in the transport sector. This important industry will no longer be defined primarily by violence and disorder."

Santaco announced the launch on Wednesday.

"I can see some of you rolling your eyes because of how our taxi drivers drive... I can assure you we won't allow our taxi drivers to drive (the planes)," Nkululeko Buthelezi, a Santaco business developer, told potential investors and reporters in Johannesburg.

The Santaco Express would be officially launched on September 16 and would begin flying by November, he said.

Buthelezi said Santaco was looking at routes such as Lanseria to Bhisho, which made sense for customers who often made a 14-hour road trip for a funeral only to return five hours later.

Santaco, which represents 95% of the South African taxi industry, had commissioned the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to investigate how much their airline would contribute to the country's gross domestic product.

Santaco had also announced plans to expand into other transport modes such as buses and trains.


  • Daveza - 2011-07-01 18:24

    How about you start paying tax before opening new ventures. Parasites the lot of you.

  • PMG - 2011-07-01 18:29

    Do they(SANTACO)understand that they will have to pay tax in the airline business.Not all industry works like the taxi industry,except perhaps the drugs and prostitution business,o yes and government.

  • Boer - 2011-07-01 18:29

    Where are they going to get the pilots from? I hear there's a shortage of pilots in SA.

  • Laurie - 2011-07-01 18:30

    What a joke! Any bets this airline will be in financial trouble within 24 months?

  • scazo d - 2011-07-01 18:34

    nooooooooooooooooo!poor service on it's way to OR Tambo. How many crashes per day r u expecting

  • PMG - 2011-07-01 18:36

    Hey Editor - You dumbasses sure do a lot of moderating - why the censorship,if you dont want us to comment.tell us and we wont.

      Appietrader - 2011-07-03 11:42

      When commenting where black people are concerned you may not say, incompetent,dom, doing stupid things,corrupt, steal, ext. remember these guys waited for Jan van Riebeeck at Cape harbour with a plane waiting to take them to Tswane, Right!

  • Benny66 - 2011-07-01 18:40

    This is a joke, right?? It is not enough that your industry is responsible for the major portion of accidents on the road you now want to take this irresponsibility to the air as well?? As for how much you will contribute to the GDP?.... I can answer that..Nothing/Niks/Nought/Zilch! Please stay out of the air and off the sidewalks - it's the only safe places we still have from your Kama kazi taxi drivers!

  • Babba x - 2011-07-01 18:43

    You don't drive a plane, you fly it

  • fraserm - 2011-07-01 18:54

    Who will take control when the first dispute arises? How will this enterprise deal with competition. Picture it. Planes burning, rival pilots eliminated etc. Hopefully a more professional approach to problem solving than that demonstrated by this industry.

  • vince muller - 2011-07-01 18:55

    What a hogwash dream. You cannot buy something, you must earn it. Look in what terrible state is our taxi industry. Nowhere in the world, not even prior 94 did we have such undissiplined, bad image, irresponsible, hated by the majority motorists taxi industry. Try to come in line with the 1st world of dissipline and respect, not only for other motorists, but also for the commuters, and maybe you'll qualify for the mainstream. If not, well, stay behind.

  • apshowe - 2011-07-01 19:05

    A few questions for this new operator - 1. Will the planes be roadworthy? 2. Will the Pilots be licensed? 3. Will these pilots use designated airports and runways or will they just land anywhere they feel is O.K? 4. Will the airline have any insurance? 5. Will the Pilots be allowed to carry guns? 6. How often will they strike? Or is my Biological Calender really messed up and this is not 1 July but in fact 1 April??

  • USSA - 2011-07-01 19:17

    FAA, please check your air-routes and be ready. Planes stopping without warning...

  • Delta Roger - 2011-07-01 19:19

    There is nothing wrong in getting present taxi drivers to fly the planes,however,make them aware there are no red robots to go through, no hooting for passengers,they can stop wherever they please because they will not be a nuisance to road users, they don't have to compete for passengers while flying, they will be permitted to run out of fuel en route to their destination.GOOD LUCK.

  • wombatingloves - 2011-07-01 19:27

    I thought anybody born on African soil was an African????

      Nuck Choris - 2011-07-03 14:54

      No thanks, born here and South African, but would be embarrassed to be called African. European for me please, I have my standards.

  • Ross - 2011-07-01 19:45

    This is going to be one of the biggest failures in SA.

  • Airwolf - 2011-07-01 19:45

    Will the BEE criteria kick in for the pilots as well?

      Graeme S - 2011-09-16 14:59

      Hopefully not! Look what happened when Eskom tried it. Oh, and N24 please leave my comment this time. It's a FACT!

  • Prof D - 2011-07-01 19:47

    I would never fly with these guys, id be sh#t scared

  • T de J - 2011-07-01 19:50

    I can see another BLACK ELEPHANT "jumbo" to take another billion chunck of the tax payer's money

  • Jeanine - 2011-07-01 20:40

    Are they going to take the seats out so 300 can fit in, & a rake on the roof for chickens? i hope the route is not over my house because the bastards stop anywhere they like and a plain can't just stop... I think this is pure racism and I hope kalula and 1time only any allows whites to fly on their airline..

  • Beam me up - 2011-07-01 21:02

    An excellent idea, the world’s airlines will learn from Soweto Air, filling a plane that can only take 200 passengers with 450 passengers.

  • Newsferret - 2011-07-01 21:06

    I wish them luck in finding BEE pilots. Maybe the dear Minister knows something we do not know.

      Liberty - 2011-07-02 05:29

      These BEE pilots are around and quite a few of them. The SA air force have been relaxing their standards in order to pump a few of them into the system. And no I am not joking

  • d54 - 2011-07-01 21:08

    Unroadworthy taxis is one thing, unairworthy aircrafts is another. I see some big prangs comming up.

  • Shelley - 2011-07-01 21:08

    Is this an April Fools joke ? If not - then that's an airline I'm just DYING to try !

      Mr D - 2011-07-02 06:54

      Yes it's one of the 100 things I want to do before I die

  • Bill - 2011-07-01 21:19

    You're way funny guy...!

  • PeterZ - 2011-07-01 21:25

    Sounds like an April fools joke! So after all we are going to see the plane with a roof carrier and cardboard brake pads.

      James Weather - 2011-07-02 06:21

      totally laughable... they cant even get their own taxi organisation in order never mind an airline... 'customers who often made a 14-hour road trip for a funeral only to return five hours later.' - oh wow they found a gap in the market! these bright tenderpreneurs and their flying coffin plans

  • Peter Molesworth - 2011-07-02 05:47

    What worries us is twofold, firstly, there is tacit admissions from you that there is a problem with the standard of driving, fix it before you move on to other things (knowledge of a problem causing a fatality and failure to act is culpable homicide)and, secondly, we are not worried about your drivers, we are worried about your plane maintenance, lack of insurance and the 200 visible dead bodies that you can now leave across the landscape. How much more effective for your organisation to provide for the grim reaper, canning and dispatching 200 at a time instead of 32. Oh, what will the hand signal be to get standing room to Orlando?

  • Peter Molesworth - 2011-07-02 05:49

    Just imagine the Kentucky boxes being flung out the windows at 35 000 feet, I am having a good cackle at that this morning...

  • Organist-1 - 2011-07-02 09:02

    Ha ha ha ha ha. I have never lauged this much in 50 years. Free for all. Just what they have wanted anyway. No robots, white or yellow lines and stop streets up in the sky. ( sorry, no speed limuts and cameras either). Brakes? who needs brakes up there? Go, boy, gooooooo!.

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