Premier management training programmes launched for the local taxi industry
Enterprises UP and Toyota South Africa geared towards implementing sound business practices and upskilling taxi associations and members
Photo (l-r): Dr Casper Kruger (Vice President: Toyota South Africa – Sales and Dealer Network). Mr Sizwe Mahlangu (National Taxi Operations Manager: Toyota South Africa), Mr Alpheus Mlalazi (General Secretary: National Taxi Industry), Prof Yolanda Jordaan (HOD: Department of Marketing Management, UP), Mr Ramodise Phillip Tsolo (CEO: Taxi Chamber – TETA) and Prof Melanie Wiese (Course Leader and Associate Professor: Department of Marketing Management, UP).
Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) together with Toyota South Africa and the Department of Marketing Management (UP) have launched two premier management training programmes geared towards upskilling the local taxi industry on Sunday, 3 July 2016 at Faircity Roodevallei Conference Centre outside Pretoria.
The launch was attended by delegates from the taxi industry who will be attending the programmes, members from the National Taxi Association, the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA), course presenters and lecturers from the University of Pretoria, as well as key role-players from Toyota South Africa and Enterprises UP.
“The purpose of this training initiative is to develop the different role players in the industry. In this regard, taxi associations and their members need to be empowered so that they, in turn, can operate efficiently and provide improved services to the communities they serve,” explained Dr Casper Kruger, Vice President: Toyota South Africa (Sales and Dealer Network).
Toyota South Africa and Enterprises UP identified a need to develop training programmes that would help enhance operations in the local taxi industry and recognised that by equipping taxi associations with basic business and management skills, the multibillion rand taxi industry could do more than just contribute to the workforce, but also assume a meaningful role in the country’s economic development.
The taxi industry in South Africa is a crucial component of economic activity consisting of several stakeholders from employer-taxi owners, drivers, patrollers, queue marshals and administrators to customers in the streets all which make up different communities.
“For us to be here today, launching this programme, is a combination of years of hard work and perseverance, but most importantly, a process that was inspired by the taxi industry. [We] started to work on this two years ago as we were looking at ways to introduce a taxi management foundation programme,” Dr Kruger explained further.
He also explained that a taxi industry that is administratively sound and led by well-informed and progressive leaders, is a taxi industry that will benefit all – especially the commuters making use of taxi services – something that can have a deep and lasting impact on the lives of many people on a day-to-day basis.
Prof Yolanda Jordaan, Head of the Department of Marketing Management (UP), also stated, “Together with Toyota South Africa we embarked on this very exciting journey to develop two very special programmes. For the past year we have been customising these courses with a lot of input from representatives from the taxi industry and the partnership we have through Enterprises University of Pretoria.”
The Ses’fikile Taxi Foundation Management Programme (TFMP) has been designed to equip delegates with business, financial and people management skills while the Ses’fikile Taxi Office Management Programme (TOMP) focuses on mastering administrative tasks such as business communication, report writing and project management.
“My hope for [these programmes] is that it will not only be beneficial to you [the delegates] in your work environment, but also really to you as an individual in terms of personal growth to go out and make a difference,” Prof Jordaan added.
The two programmes will be rolled out over three years across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and the Western Cape. With the aim to train 120 delegates per year per programme, the programmes will focus on integrating and synergising organisational activities within delegates’ work environments and communities on the basis of a profound understanding of the value chain perspective.
The first intake of delegates have already started with their formal training early in April 2016 in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Toyota South Africa is sponsoring 20 delegates per programme each year with six intakes per programme in the four provinces.
Mr Deon Herbst, CEO of Enterprises UP, touched on the magnitude and logistics of presenting these programmes across the country and the importance of academic inputs in the development of these programmes.
“Our training programmes draw from the strengths and expertise of experienced academic personnel and industry specialists forming part of the collaboration, as well as previous experience in the administrative and logistical support for the development of such training interventions.”
“We have capacity to give educational and facilitation support by using various experts and academic support staff to contribute to the content and curriculum design of these proposed programmes,” he added.
The initiative has also been met with great excitement and support from the taxi industry. Mr Alpheus Mlalazi, General Secretary of the National Taxi Association, acknowledged the industry’s acceptance of the much needed implementation of the programmes on the night.
“We are very proud because anybody else would have thrown their arms up in the air and said, ‘No, we can’t operate in this space.’ But you [Toyota South Africa and UP] persisted. Here we are today. What the University of Pretoria is showing to us, is that they are demystifying an industry that serves so many millions, yet one that people choose not to understand.”
Enterprises UP and Toyota South Africa are looking forward to building a lasting relationship with all the delegates, their employers and communities, and developing a standing practice for the betterment of our transport and commuting value chain.
University of Pretoria