The business wing of the North West taxi industry Bokone Transport Holdings (BTH) says the deal it clinched with fuel giant Caltex is a significant move for Black Economic Empowerment in the province.
BTH spokesperson Peter Thiba told BuaNews that each of the five taxi companies in the province had secured R1 million from the provincial Department of Transport and Roads "for the benefit of "grass roots operators".
"As BTH we will facilitate the smooth running of the co-operatives thus ensuring sustainability," he said.
The provincial Department of Transport and Roads, Bokone Transport Holdings Caltex oil South Africa and five provincial taxi-co-operatives yesterday signed a bulk fuel supply agreement for taxi industry in the province.
MEC for Transport and Roads Jerry Thibedi urged all strategic partners to ensure that ordinary taxi operators benefit from the business deal.
"I am sure the Board of Directors of BTH is aware that the success of this project rest on the support of the members and if they do not see or feel direct benefit, they will not support it," said the MEC.
Mr Thiba said the department had pledged R30 million out of which R18 million was put down for capital development to ensure sustainability.
"The department pledged R30 million and has thus far given US R18 million which had through bank interests increased to about R20 million. The department says it will commit the outstanding amount if it sees implementation and development in practical terms," said Mr Thiba.
MEC Thibedi said his department would not commit the outstanding amount of R12 million if there were no major developments and ordinary operators' beneficiation.
"We will not contribute the outstanding money before we see substantial moves by January 2005," said Mr Thibedi.
South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) President Tom Muofhe also told BuaNews that the deal would go a long way in benefiting ordinary taxi operators in the province.
"They (taxi operators) will get petrol cards from Caltex and as a result get points to check if they really support the company and BTH will collect the dividends and give them to operators," he said.
"I believe they will succeed because there is unity and regulation in the taxi industry in this province for example they have registered for South African revenue Service (SARS)," said Mr Muofhe.
Caltex General Manager for Retail in Southern and Central Africa Shashi Rabbipal said his company was committed to creating a better life for all by supporting economic and sustainable developments.
"We also have dedicated staff who work very hard to build a proudly South African company," he said.