The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) will intensify its road safety campaign in support of the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011 – 2010) as launched by the National Department of Transport on Wednesday 11 May 2011.
SANTACO launched its much lauded Operation Hlokomela campaign in November 2010 as part of its underlying aim of improving the safety of commuters that interact with South Africa’s largest single transport sector.
As part of this campaign, the SANTACO technical safety specialists visit taxi ranks across the country to inspect the safety standards of taxis. During these technical safety inspections, SANTACO’s representatives also advise taxi owners and operators on general rules on road safety and customer care.
The campaign, which is widely supported by national, provincial and local government bodies, have already been rolled out to the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and, as of yesterday, Gauteng. The North West province will soon be added to the list to cement the national ambitions of the campaign.
Operation Hlokomela was praised by Minister Sibusiso Ndebele of the Department of Transport at the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011 – 2020) in Gauteng on Wednesday 11 May. Speaking at the event, after he unveiled the Operation Hlokomela patrol vehicles, Minister Ndebele commended their partnership with SANTACO in making South African roads safer. The Minister also praised SANTACO for taking a leadership role in making the taxi industry, which in itself is a leading transport sector in South Africa, safer and more responsible.
Following the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011 – 2020) SANTACO took ownership presented 10 Toyota Corolla vehicles. These vehicles will be assigned to the various provinces and will be used by Operation Hlokomela champions to visit taxi ranks and assist taxi owners and attend to customer care issues.
“The Hlokomela campaign is about caring and the taxi industry wants to provide its transportation service to the commuting public with a “sense of care” and love.” says SANTACO President Mr AJ Mthembu. “During this Decade of Action for Road Safety, our Operation Hlokomela vehicles begin our intense fight against road carnage on the roads. We enter this period with care for our vehicles by making them more reliable and safer through inspections and roadblocks that we will embark on. We care for our drivers by interacting with them more on among others customer care so they understand the value of our clients to our business. We also interact with our commuters in order to benchmark the improvement of our service to them.”
“A campaign such as Operation Hlokomela combines our passion for road safety and our long standing partnership with the South African taxi industry,’ says Dr. Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors. “We are very proud of our participation in this project and look forward to supporting SANTACO in their continued efforts to make the local taxi industry an exemplary transport sector in the country.”
In support of the campaign, Toyota South Africa Motors has assigned technical specialists to the campaign. These specialists train Operation Hlokomela representatives on vehicle inspection techniques and safety assistance. In further support of this campaign TSAM have supported the development of a technical safety checklist that will be used during vehicle inspections as well as the usage of a Toyota Ses’fikile taxi during peak travel times.
During the launch SANTACO reiterated its call on commuters, who are key to its campaign to make Operation Hlokomela successful (by giving feedback on our service), to make use of its 24/7 Call Centre. The call centre is available on 0860 726 822 and was created as a channel for any concerns, questions and complaints.