Zuma: Taxi airline a symbol of liberation

2011-09-16 14:23

Johannesburg - A new airline launched by the taxi industry is a practical example of economic and social emancipation, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"This is really the people's transport. We applaud the SA National Taxi Council... in giving the country its first fully black-owned airline," he said at the "proof-of-concept" launch at Lanseria airport.

He said while more than 18 million passengers passed through airports around the country each year, the masses did not have access to air travel.

"This is because of the high cost... and to some extent, an unfortunate perception which should be shed, that air travel is the exclusive preserve of a privileged few.

"We must see more Santaco planes in the air... so keep the costs low, increase numbers and get more routes."

Santaco airlines would offer an all-in-one transport system between taxi ranks in different provinces. The first phase of the service is to operate between Lanseria airport, Bhisho and Cape Town.

It is expected to launch commercially at the end of the year.

Transport Minister 'Sbu Ndebele said it was not a pipe dream that people from the Eastern Cape could travel to Johannesburg at an affordable price and within a reasonable time, "instead of spending 10 hours on the road each time they want to visit home".

Said Ndebele: "Some took a swipe... claiming that pilots, whom they assumed would be the taxi drivers, will threaten to stop or make a U-turn mid-air should they discover that the money collected doesn't match the number of people on board."

Ndebele said the launch of Santaco airlines would show people it was possible for a taxi organisation to expand into other means of transport.

The taxi council's vision was to have buy-in from both the taxi industry and citizens, Santaco president Jabulani Mthembu said.

"We have about R25bn to R35bn in the hands of taxi association members... we are looking at ways to attract that money... we want people to buy shares."

Aviation was a tough industry to break into, but Santaco would "travel where everyone else is scared to travel".

He said the low-cost airline was bringing dignity to people whose only experience of aviation had been seeing a plane fly above their rooftops. The main customers would be people without a car and large income. The airline might also cater to people wishing to travel with their goats, as dogs did in a cage.

"We will have finalisation of all the details in a month's time to deal with all the blockages."

Logistics to be worked out would include access to the service for people without credit cards or internet access.

On Friday, the Democratic Alliance welcomed the airline as an affordable option, but cautioned on the operator being used, AirQuarius Air Charters.

"An internal memo from the Civil Aviation Authority and various supporting documents show that AirQuarius was provided with a fraudulent airworthiness inspection document in 2010," DA transport spokesperson Manny de Freitas said.

"The airworthiness inspector whose falsified signature appears on the inspection document was not even aware that the operator was at the airport where the inspection purportedly took place."

He said although the memo was dated September 15 2010, reliable sources had informed him the matter was not resolved.

The operator was not immediately available for comment.

  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 14:40

    When you don't pay tax there's plenty of cash to buy an airline.

  • Robsta - 2011-09-16 14:45

    I love how openly racist they are... Who cares what colour skin owns the airline... its about the privledge offered to the masses so they can fly.. right? Is the Tax Payer going to balance the losses on this ledger?

  • Shistirrer - 2011-09-16 14:51

    OMG - an airline run by the taxi industry! Take-offs and landings with no regard to control tower orders, planes parked in the middle of the runway, "guardjies" instead of cabin crew, boom-boom music played at full volume non stop during flights, unscheduled landings in the middle of nowhere to drop off passengers, luggage piled up on a roof rack on top of the plane, and seven passengers crammed in between the pilot and co-pilot. :D

  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 14:51

    All Pilots are White !!! What hapened to BEE ???

  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 14:52


  • Unskinny Bob - 2011-09-16 14:53

    Fraudulent airworthiness? Sounds about right. "practical example of economic and social emancipation"? More like a practical joke.

  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 14:53

    Cows /Dogs and ANC members in luggage hold please

  • Christo - 2011-09-16 14:54

    A lot of hype but no substance. I will be very surprised if this airline ever materializes.

  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 14:54


  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 14:54


  • Vesper5 - 2011-09-16 14:58

    wouldn't trust them as far a I could throw them. Sort out the taxi business on the road before taking on a new venture

  • Henk - 2011-09-16 14:59

    O goodness! Hope they don't fly as bad as they drive! Hope somebody told them jamming in front of other planes landing is not a good idea

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-16 15:01

    Trust Jacob and the ANC to make this about "white business being a myth". Bloody agent is corrupt and incompetent. The question is,what is the ANC and comrades getting out of this?

  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 15:05

    booyakasha bitches!!!

  • Johannvw13 - 2011-09-16 15:09

    i still wont use it

  • Shorts1 - 2011-09-16 15:12

    It will be fantastic if this concept can be properly implemented and then efficiently / effectively run. Should this prove to be the case, then perhaps the country's taxi associations can move from managing the safe & reliable movement of people in the air to doing exactly the same on all our roads. Time will tell. Just as long as this is not something else that us already heavily beleaguered taxpayers in South Africa have to pay for.

  • thefeather - 2011-09-16 15:13

    So with R35bn to spare on launching an airline, why is it that they get total exemption from the Gauteng Toll Roads?

  • Chris - 2011-09-16 15:18

    It's the 21st century and taxi people want to show a point that they are not scared to fly people with their goats into dark Africa. and isn't this the Africa way of starting things - "supporting documents show that AirQuarius was provided with a fraudulent airworthiness inspection document in 2010"

  • Jaco - 2011-09-16 15:20

    God have mercy on us!

  • PAnzi_ne_ANC - 2011-09-16 15:21

    they havent even had their frirst flight and the fraudulent documents and corruption are already appering out of the woodworlk let them start flyinga nd see how busy the CAA will be piking little bits of aircraft arounfd and l along their flight paths... woe betide those who climb aboard, it will be adios amigo ,. come in peace and fall in peices.. wot a joke... liberation indeed mr showerhead.. you twot..

  • Sharkie - 2011-09-16 15:21

    Hey it's good news al round - see - this is how you create jobs.....this is building your own money making structures.....

  • Aabels - 2011-09-16 15:22

    JO!!! Are they also going to stop wherever they like, play loud music,cross lanes in the air and overload the planes??? I hope this venture dies a slow death.

  • Benniten - 2011-09-16 15:23

    I smell n rat......... Suicide airlines

  • Dead Skunk - 2011-09-16 15:23

    It's not April 1st is it...???

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-16 16:54

      Yes what a strange, strange news day! * Taxi operated airline * Chinese condoms thrown out by the court because they don't fit a SA boerie * Winnie to pose for Playboy * The tragic incident of the lady who caused the death of her entire family because she was breastfeeding her baby while driving Eish...

  • Cynix - 2011-09-16 15:25

    Good - now Juliaas can nationalise and liberate the airline. A share in the profits would also do>

  • MALALAPIPE - 2011-09-16 15:26

    congrats guys, now keep it clean, do the job well and keep on going

  • parkavenue - 2011-09-16 15:28

    watch this space..HKGK

  • Mthetwa - 2011-09-16 15:28

    SAA is also fully ANC owned

  • Valis - 2011-09-16 15:29

    We demand WEE! (White Economic Empowerment) We want shares! Give us white people shares for free. We demand it! And we demand a white person to be director and they must get paid R34000000000000 a month!

  • TFIL - 2011-09-16 15:30

    Who's gonna fly them man???! waaahahahaha - how many are going to crash?

  • charley - 2011-09-16 15:31

    Who in their right mind would get on a taxi industry operated airline.

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-16 16:51

      The same people who bank at supermarkets.

  • Limpopoist - 2011-09-16 15:32

    At last ,no more dragging of people for 700 meters, No more traffic Jam. No more hooting and shouting Liberal to sleep peace in the early hour wioth any hooting

  • Johnno - 2011-09-16 15:33

    the way taxi's drive id hate to see how these dudes fly lol

  • sipholess - 2011-09-16 15:34

    Air taxis............Fricken ingenious !

  • Allrightythen - 2011-09-16 15:35

    Will the pilots be anything like the taxi drivers? Will overloading, ignoring the law and lack of licenses be the order of the day? Anyone flying with a company with the reputation of the taxi industry needs to have their head read, no thanks, I would rather propel myself using only my lips from Johanesburg to Cape Town before coming close to one of their planes. I suppose maintenance will not be done, the chassis will be so bent the planes will fly skew like the taxis drive on the road and a vice grip will be used for the wheel and wooden blocks used for brakes.

  • Number04 - 2011-09-16 15:39

    Correct me if I'm wrong, SAA is state owned which means they're part of the aviation monopoly responsible for the high costs, so is Zuma saying the new airline is being liberated from the state? Emancipation from the ANC? He probably didn't think what he was saying imo.

  • ian.d.samson - 2011-09-16 15:42

    Emancipation ... until the first crash, then apartheid will be blamed all over again!

  • Welleducated - 2011-09-16 15:44

    "An internal memo from the Civil Aviation Authority and various supporting documents show that AirQuarius was provided with a fraudulent airworthiness inspection document in 2010" - They must have slipped a R50 under the pilot seat - just like the TAXIs!

  • aryantoo - 2011-09-16 15:45

    Financed with money what should have gone to the taxman

  • crocoros - 2011-09-16 15:45

    Be afraid, very afraid, we are afraid of the taxi drivers they are a law unto themselves, lets hope the pilots of the planes does not have the same attitude as the taxi drivers.

  • AA - 2011-09-16 15:49

    The idiot does not realize this is just black capitalism.

  • Werner - 2011-09-16 15:51

    'Said Ndebele: "Some took a swipe... claiming that pilots, whom they assumed would be the taxi drivers, will threaten to stop or make a U-turn mid-air should they discover that the money collected doesn't match the number of people on board."' HAHA! You read our thoughts sir. 'Aviation was a tough industry to break into, but Santaco would "travel where everyone else is scared to travel".' Like what - most of Africa? I don't mean to be negative, but has anyone here seen the movie Lord of War? There's a scene where an airplane is left in the middle of who-knows-where in Africa, and within 24 hours the locals had stripped the plane down to its nuts and bolts - nothing had survived. Just saying. Let's wish them all the best, and hope the comrades don't suffocate the industry with their bling lifestyles.

  • barry.mcbride - 2011-09-16 16:01

    "The operator was not immediately available for comment." LOL, enough said already & kind of sums it up!

  • alv1990 - 2011-09-16 16:05

    hahaha.....if it's anything like the taxi's...good luck to them and the people who travel with them......

      Shistirrer - 2011-09-16 16:48

      LOL, I can just see it - disregarding all air traffic rules and air traffic controllers, tying chicken coops to the roof of the plane, cramming 7 passengers in between the pilot and co-pilot, no cabin crew, only "guardjies", parking the plane in the middle of the runway while the pilot jumps out to go buy some chicken, cramming 250 people into an aircraft designed for 100, shooting from the cockpit at other planes in route disputes, blocking the N1 with 500 planes when they strike about the price of aviation fuel.

      grod - 2011-09-16 17:32

      Hope they dont fly too high cos the goats will freeze on the roof racks!

      sipholess - 2011-09-16 21:09

      Wahahahahahahahah top......grod !

  • Jeanne - 2011-09-16 16:05

    I wonder how much of that R25billion to R35 billion in the hands of their memebrs should rightly belong to the taxman...

  • Succubus - 2011-09-16 16:05

    I think the Taxi airline is brilliant! Well done to all involved in getting it up and running.

      Buffalo - 2011-09-17 09:17

      Are you sure that your nom de guerre is not suck-up-to-us?

  • eh - 2011-09-16 16:06

    When all the rhetoric, politicking and stupid comments stop, the Rand will start talking. Lets hope that the new air taxi service will treat people with the dignity that they dont get on the ground taxi service and ensure that their planes are air worthy. Good luck

  • WillowI - 2011-09-16 16:06

    Wonderful! And now that you have a fully black-owned airline company the demand for AA and BEE in other airline companies should immediately be halted.I do hope that this can be replicated in all spheres of industry and commerce - come on black people - do your thing!!You can also do it. Nice to see. Then hopefully AA and BEE can be completely scrapped as it should be !!!!!! Twenty years is a long time. This is also a clear signal for all those asking for 'Economic Freedom' - as you can see it already exists - black people can also start any business - there is no law against it in this country.

      Sheda Hab - 2011-09-16 16:42

      @Willow it is sad that you believe this is the first example of all that twaddle Jacob is going on about. What is even more sad is that Zuma thinks that this is the first example.... No wonder AA will never go away.

      Lunguza - 2011-09-17 10:01

      Wrong Willow. We still need AA and BEE, since its about redressing the wrongs of the past not about whether black people can do it or not. Also we do have to compete as South Africans as we are one nation. This is big problem where people think about us black and them white and vice versa. That is why some nations beat so well because we are so divided, forget colour put your nation ahead!!!

      WillowI - 2011-09-17 10:23

      @Sheda - Gee - and then what is your solution? If AA and BEE is used we say it is wrong, but then if blacks start their own business it is also wrong? So what should they do in order for them to get into the mainstream of the economy? Again I ask - what is your solution - or do you prefer to have AA and listen to the militant ANCYL threatening 'economic revolution and nationalisation' for the rest of your life? No wonder AA will never go away.

      WillowI - 2011-09-17 10:59

      @Lunguza - In essence I agree with you. However two things. AA and BEE is taking too long and secondly in 30years from now we will have to again repeat the process of 'redressing the wrongs of the past (todays wrongs - AA and BEE)' but then it will be the other way around. I would like society to normalise and get on with my life. Not this Liberal nonsense which is a form of social engineering. There will always be differences, but I think that is good as long as we respect each other. Nothing wrong with a little bit of competition.It would be boring if we were all the same.

  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 16:49

    Comments are screwed today - none of the posts under my name are mine.

      Oldbuck - 2011-09-17 13:30


  • woodifer - 2011-09-16 17:01

    those will be the overloaded planes , with roofracks.

      Liberty - 2011-09-16 20:21

      with cardboard pieces as brake pads, and a vice grip for a steering wheel

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