28 February 2003
Taxi operators, commuters as well as formal and informal traders will benefit from a new partnership between the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and property development company Taxiprop-BR, in terms of which existing taxi and bus ranks will be transformed into retail and vehicle centre hubs at a cost of R2.8-billion.
The 10-year agreement was announced this week at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg by Limpopo province Transport MEC Tshenuwani Farisani and representatives from Santaco, Taxiprop and Basil Read (Taxiprop-BR).
According to Santaco president Thomas Muofhe, Santaco Property will be formed, with the taxi industry holding 51% of the share of the properties and using the money to pay for loans the organisation accumulates on the project.
Kevin Williams of Taxiprop-BR, whose company will be responsible for rolling out the programme, said the new centres will offer commuters the convenience of retail stores on hand, while the retailers will have access to a concentrated market.
The empowerment aspects of the move include an improved environment and opportunities for informal retailers, who will be located within specifically designated areas.
National retailers will occupy 70% of the floor space, while 30% will be set aside for local business participation.
In terms of the agreement, work will start this year on some of the major taxi ranks, which include the Randfontein Station in the West Rand, Wynberg in north-east Johannesburg, and Bloed Street in Pretoria.