Rustenburg women entrepreneurs make strides in the taxi industrySubmitted by Emelia Mosima
Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) in partnership with Comfortable Tech hosted a Certificate Award Ceremony on 20 May 2021 at Orion Hotel, Rustenburg, to celebrate 50 women who operate businesses within the taxi industry.
The Certificate Award Ceremony is a culmination of a TETA funded Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME) development project that saw 100 women-owned taxi companies in the North West and Free State participate in a training programme accredited by MICT SETA. The training assisted participants to register their businesses with the CIPC and SARS, and also assisted them to develop business plans and business cards. The training included business diagnosis, financial management and business management ethos.
One of the participants, Ponatshego Sebothenyane, hailed the programme as a game-changer in her business. “When this training started we were nervous but because we were committed and we embraced teamwork, we succeeded. When we saw that the trainers were young, we felt like they would disrespect us but they were patient and respectful. This training was important for us because men typically do not teach women how to run taxi businesses. So women end up making costly mistakes. In some cases, women sell their taxis because they are told by men that they can’t maintain a taxi business. I wish men were part of this training though I understand that TETA wanted to empower women. We learnt so much through this training. We now have formally registered businesses, business cards, logos and letterheads. Now we know where we are going and our businesses will grow. We will also share the knowledge we have gained with other women”, said Sebothenyane.
“I’m impressed about the programme, but I’m especially impressed by the women who participated in this programme. We equipped them with tools to help their businesses succeed. I’m confident that they now have weapons to face the real world, the world dominated men, and win”, said Comfortable Tech Managing Director, Comfort Mogohlwane.
According to Kgatile Nkala, Head of Human Resources and Administration at TETA, “One of TETA strategic drivers is transformation which influenced the decision by TETA to support the training of women in the taxi industry. We believe that peel by peel the taxi industry will transform as women take advantage of opportunities in this industry. It may look like training 100 women is insignificant; however, we know that out of these women will grow tentacles that will spread to other women."
A representative of the Office of the MEC of Community Safety and Transport Management Dr Ntlhopeng Dikobe who is the Head of Research and Policy Development in the North West Legislature, encouraged the participants saying, “this is just the beginning, you have only taken a baby step. Ahead of you lies many opportunities.” Dikobe also urged women taxi operators to report illegal activities in the industry such as fake operating licenses.
Among key speakers at the event were SANTACO Provincial Chairperson, Herman Sebego; and SANTACO Provincial Chairperson Woman Desk, Sinah Mongalo.