Byline: Nonjabuliso Nhlambo

18 March 2022

The Vukanini taxi Association Launched its Youth Desk on Thursday, 18 March 2022, at eMbalenhle.

Members of Santaco from Mpumalanga region, traditional leaders from eMbalenhle, traffic officials, business partners and the youth graced Vukta with their presence at the launch ceremony.

The aim of the youth desk is to create opportunities for the youth within the taxi industry.

The association’s objective is to groom the youth and equip them with the skills to be able to run a taxi business efficiently.

With the youth desk, Vukta is working towards erasing the stereotype that taxi drivers and owners are violent and uneducated.

Mr. Mzwakhe Mwelase, the Santaco provincial youth chairperson from eNhlanzeni region said the youth committee was elected in 2018 by the provincial chairperson in the province where they created a vision which was to change the perception and the mindset of the minibus owners, operators, and their beneficiaries to help them realize that there are various opportunities within the industry.

 “It is evident that Santaco in Mpumalanga is here to create leaders.

 Vukanini launched this committee to find people who are willing to learn and be ambassadors of the Vukanini Taxi Association within the communities surrounding them.

In this industry we are known as people who are violent, we have hope that this youth desk will help manage such situations,’’ said Mzwakhe with enthusiasm.

Chief Isaac Mahlangu was amongst the invited guests.

 In his speech, Chief Mahlangu said he is grateful for the initiative as it shows growth and development within the community.

 ‘’I am thankful to the chairman for being able to differentiate between the needs and a purpose, for example, tenderpreneurs work towards a need, there is no purpose there.

If you are a leader you need to have a purpose, with this initiative being implemented, that shows you have a purpose for the youth and it is high time you rise up and take a stand.

We have so many corporate companies surrounding us, everyone wants to work with them but the truth of the matter is these companies are managed by people who come from different provinces which is rare for them to come to our communities and uplift our youth because everyman work towards upgrading his home”.

The chief further urged community members to stand together in the fight against unemployment.

“If we are led by people who will love the youth, elderly, and our community in general we will be able to develop these communities,” he added.

The chief also considered one’s roots to be the priority because it guides you as a person and instills personal values which makes one thrive to achieve a certain common goal.

M. Fanyana Sibanyoni, Chairperson of Vukta, urged the youth to go get PDP permits and manage their family legacy.

According to Sibanyoni, it is a disappointment that 90% of taxis are driven by foreign nationals.

“With the high rise in unemployment, it is time for the youth to come forward and become role players within the taxi industry.

Unemployment is high because the children of parents who are within the taxi industries are not willing to know and learn the skills within the taxi trade.

Education is key but it is also important for the youth to equip themselves with the skills which will enable them to carry the family business forward after the parents have departed,” added the chairperson with determination.

Vukta statistics reflect that it has lost more than 47 members since covid and the same purports the number of businesses which are going to suffer or die should the heirs not show interest.

 The Vukanini Youth Desk is set to start operating from the 18th of March 2022 at the blue rank.