Safer taxis for all!
Toyota Motors South Africa (TMSA) is doing its best to improve road safety. The vehicle manufacturer has worked in collaboration with the national Hlokomela Road Safety campaign, a programme created and driven by the South African National Taxi Association (Santaco), to improve taxi related services nationwide.
MJ Msiza, president of Santaco, explains how the initiative came to be: “Operation Hlokomela was created by Santaco to ensure the safety of millions of passengers we transport every day.”
He adds: “For us, any life lost in an accident is one life too many and this makes Operation Hlokomela very important.”
Toyota partnered with Santaco when the road safety programme was born in 2011. The company provided a fleet of locally produced vehicles to enable safety officers to travel to taxi ranks across the country to inspect taxis and test the skills of taxi drivers.
For this year’s campaign Toyota made technical and safety training available for Hlokomela safety inspectors, equipping them with the skills to train other inspectors across the country.
The vehicle manufacturer also created the technical and safety inspection sheets used by these inspectors. A duplicate of each completed sheet will be sent to Toyota’s engineers for further study and improvement of South Africa’s favourite taxi: the Toyota Ses’fikile.
“This year was very important for Toyota and the taxi industry,” says Dr Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of TMSA.
He adds: “In 2012 we localised the assembly of the Ses’fikile at our Prospection plant in Kwazulu-Natal. We were also recognised as the only taxi manufacturer to receive a full five-star accreditation for safety and quality by the Independent Taxi Assessment Services (ITAS).”
“These milestones, along with out support of Operation Hlokomela, are evidence of the importance of the taxi industry and the safety of its passengers to Toyota,” concludes Van Zyl.