Pretoria – Taxi operators in Eersterust yesterday took part in a six-hour training session to prepare them for the expected Covid-19 third wave.
The operators parked their tuk-tuks and minibuses to engage in the skills development programmes put together by Khoete Investments in partnership with the South African National Taxi Council and sponsor, Distell.
Kamehelo Moloi said Khoete Investments organised the training course because taxi operators were often neglected when it came to skills development, yet their work involved coming into close contact with a lot of people who also needed to be kept safe.
He said the training went beyond Covid-19 and preparing them for the third wave to other challenges such as managing their finances, customer care as well as becoming responsible and champions against the scourge of gender-based violence.
Moloi said: “We are planning to training over 2 000 taxi drivers in Tshwane and the rest of South Africa because we believe they need such training.
“We are going to reach all the townships where taxi drivers spend most of their time such as Mamelodi and Atteridgeville to make sure drivers are trained. They will be awarded certificates to prove they were trained to perform at a high level.
“We are working with an accredited service provider Kitta Transport Training Academy. We are also happy to see that there are also female taxi drivers taking the course and this motivates us to keep going and reaching all members of our society.”
Taxi driver Robert Green said: “To be honest I underestimated the training before coming, but from the beginning of the class I saw that I need to be extra cautious because there are so many things that I took for granted but could easily pass on the coronavirus to passengers or from passengers to me.
“I am grateful I came because now I can be more protective of myself, my passengers and my family. This Covid-19 is very dangerous and we should not take it for granted. What I like more about this training is that we talked about safety in all aspects of our job including looking after vehicles and keeping our passengers safe.”
Facilitate Teboho Dhlamini said he learned most drivers did not take driving serious.
“Most thought driving is just holding the steering, shifting the gear and stepping on the pedal to move forward. Now we are changing the attitude and I can guarantee you we do see them change and come to us and give us testimony about how we have changed their attitude.”
He emphasised to the drivers the importance adhering Covid-19 safety protocols and ensuring that they kept in mind that protecting their passengers was their responsibility.