The typical minibus taxi is a 16-seater, typically white in colour with the most common model being the Toyota Quantum Sesfikile. Taxis operate an unscheduled service on fixed routes managed by taxi associations.
Taxis will typically depart from fixed terminals but stop anywhere along their route to pick up and drop off passengers. Passengers hail taxis using hand signals to indicate where they are travelling. Taxi ranks are hives of activity and market places establish themselves around the ranks to service the commuters.
Regional taxi councils determine the fares for each route considered to be affordable for the lower income population of the country. Fares are paid in cash and in some areas of the country the taxi owner employs a conductor to manage fares whilst in others, passengers themselves manage the cash by passing it to the driver.
SA Taxi has developed its own innovative developmental credit philosophy and strategy. This approach is built on the proprietary data and industry knowledge amassed over many years. This niche capability evaluates each taxi owner as a small business and not solely on their individual credit score, enabling it to extend credit in this niche, under-served market segment.
SA Taxi Direct dealership was established in 2015, selling both new and pre-owned premium taxis. Due to strong relationships with Toyota, SA Taxi is allocated approximately 70 new Toyota Sesfikiles per month to sell alongside the pre-owned vehicles.
This channel offers SA Taxi greater returns on the entire vehicle deal and provides a profitable and reliable marketplace for sale of refurbished vehicles due to the following factors:
Taximart was established in 2009 to refurbish primarily repossessed minibus taxis in the secondary market and improve SA Taxi’s recoveries.
Taximart services include repair and maintenance which is completed timeously ensuring that owners’ vehicles are back on the road as soon as possible.
The ability to refurbish and resale has enabled SA Taxi to reduce their loss ratios as by recovering a significant percentage of the loan value of repossessed vehicles. This is achieved through reducing costs, improving turnaround times, improving product quality and providing higher returns than auction prices. Taximart has also led to reduced insurance cost of claims.Efficiencies created through Taximart arise from the following:
SA Taxi originates its loans and allied services through three key distribution channels: affiliated dealers, non-affiliated dealers and SA Taxi's own retail channel. SA Taxi’s retail dealership achieves higher returns and provides a profitable and reliable marketplace for the sale of new and refurbished pre‐owned vehicles.
SA Taxi has reduced its loss ratios through reducing refurbishment costs and improving both turnaround times and product quality. The efficiencies created through SA Taxi’s own facility arise from economies of scale and its focus on specific vehicle types, allowing for specialisation, bulk procurement power and time saved by controlling the entire process in-house.
>20 000m2 combined auto body repair and mechanical refurbishment centres
SA Taxi’s ability to refurbish and refinance recovered vehicles enables it to participate in the liquid pre-owned market, ensuring retention of asset value.
In 2015 SA Taxi launched a point-to-point taxi offering which includes financial services. The taxi owner-drivers are also given access to the stand alone ancillary services such as insurance and maintenance as well as the Zebra Cabs’ own taxi platform.
The Zebra Cabs platform was developed to further support the taxi owner-drivers and their respective SMEs focusing on all owner-drivers financed through SA Taxi as well as those looking for an alternative taxi platform, provided they meet the standards set by Zebra Cabs in terms of the vehicle type and background checks.
The target market for point-to-point is similar to the minibus taxi market as the target customer is an existing or aspiring vehicle owner with limited access to traditional finance.
All financed vehicles are required to have comprehensive insurance. SA Taxi has designed its highly competitive comprehensive insurance products that are sold through its insurance cell captive entity established in partnership with Guardrisk Insurance Company.
Expanding client base: