South Africa has approximately 250,000 minibus taxis on the roads, ferrying more than 15 million people everyday and given that the average daily revenue for a taxi is between R1,000 – R2,500, South African taxi drivers seem not to be satisfied with the R1, 400 pay they receive every month.
Revealed by the secretary to the National Taxi Alliance, Alpheus Mlalazi, South African drivers receive as low as R1, 400 per month as minimum wage. This is in accordance with the labour relations act under sectoral determination.
He added that drivers are paid in accordance with various local taxi associations and their operational level, and also depending on their routes.
Mlalazi explained further that drivers’ payment methods vary from one association to another. Some, he said, are paid in accordance with the takings of the taxi – between 25%-30% of the takings per week. This means that an estimated sum of R800 – R1,000 is received by a driver per week.
Meanwhile, in 2012, government came up with a new minimum wage for taxi drivers which is yet to be implemented. When it is eventually implemented, taxi drivers would be earning up to R2,449,90 and the administrators R1 713,70 for the lowest paid.
It also revealed that the average urban taxi driver earns slightly above the rural taxi drivers. Urban drivers earn between R1,500 and R2,000 per month, which can go up to R6,000 a month if the driver is paid R200 a day, as some are.
When he was asked how he feels about the minimum wage that the Labour Department is about to implement, Mlalazi said the minimum wage is far too low compared to what drivers earn in a week. Pointing out that the taxi industry has been found to pay well above that wage.
However, report has it that some taxi owners prefer to rent out their taxis to drivers for R10,000 fixed fee per month leaving the driver with any additional profits on top of that amount, plus fuel costs.
Mlalazi therefore warned that if the Labour Department still choses to enforce their labour regulations act which includes and new tax reforms and an increase in the minimum wage, they (National Taxi Alliance) would have to be subsidized like other modes of transport.