Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison hosted a successful Taxi Driver Competitions across the province over the weekend.
The first Taxi Driver Competition in the Northern Cape province initiated by the Department of Transport, Safety in collaboration with the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) was well received.
The competition embraced by male and female taxi drivers unfolded across all 5 districts of the province on Sunday.
Head of Department, Mr Steven Jonkers said, “The turn up was very great and the competition was well received. We even had a number of our female drivers competing and also taking the lead.”
The competition is one of the means for the department is ensuring a safe, secure and sustainable transport system in the province.
Jonkers said, “Community members also supported the initiative which is encouraging as the efforts of improving the services in the taxi industry is not only meant to benefit the industry but the commuters as well.”
“Some of our drivers have not been tested on the new K53 method and did well. Workshops on Customer Care were great as we also picked up challenges drivers face with commuters but they learned ways on how to better manage the situation.”
“Challenges faced by taxi drivers, is also an opportunity for us to see what we can do to close the gap in addressing some of these challenges..,” said Jonkers.
Santaco nominated 20 drivers per district to partake in the competition where finalists qualify for the provincial leg of the competition. The competition simultaneously took place in De Aar, Kimberley, Mothibistad, Springbok and Upington, respectively representing each district in the province.
Santaco’s Provincial Chairperson, Mr Zwane Nkonki, said the initiative by the department was great as it’s a means to enhance driver conduct and improve service delivery in the industry.
“What needs to be done by us is to support the department. These efforts need to trickle down to us and we must embrace the efforts meant to benefit and grow our industry.”
Nkonki said they commended and appreciated the efforts of the department and “as the leadership of Santaco were happy with the department in its efforts to improve the industry.”
Frances Baard competition winner, Jan Afrika said he was very excited by his achievement.
“It’s my first time entering such a competition but I felt that I was going to win even though competition was a bit tight… The experience was great and I am looking forward to the next round,” said Afrika.
Winners per district and position:
Pixley Ka Seme District:
1. Mr Litha Mke
2. Ms Kaartjie Hlazo
3. Mr Thabiso Aaron
John Taolo Gaetsewe:
1. Mr Otsile Van Wyk
2. Mr Tebogo Chakapedi
3. Thebe Kgoro
1. Mr Jan Afrika
2. Mr Thabo Mkrola
3. Mr Eshley De Jager
1. Mr Frank Isaaks
2. Mr Patrick Visagie
3. Mr Erus Swarts
1. Mr Chris Simelani
2. Mr Austin Hans
3. Mr Piet Swartbooi
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS