© Taxichoice ~ the engine behind the nation 2012. Designed by: Mosebo graphics

Santaco Trading As (Pty) Limited, trading as TaxiChoice was formed and incorporated in 2003. Taxichoice is owned by the Santaco Owners Group Investment Trust and by the Santaco Employee’s Trust respectively.

TaxiChoice is the business arm of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO), a government recognised Taxi Industry body. We have positioned ourselves to best offer a complete range of services to our various stakeholders, namely, all taxi operators regardless of affiliation in the first instance, Financial institutions, OEM’s, Motor-vehicle Dealership groups, and some government agencies.

TaxiChoice has entered into Service Level Agreements with various Financial Institutions, Dealers / Dealer Groups, Manufacturers, Importers and Builders as well as various joint ventures with parties that are critical to the supply chain of the various components of a taxi vehicle.

Our Business Case is based on 5 critical pillars:

Firstly, we have developed a new image in the form of a new name (TaxiChoice), logo and corporate image. This was primarily to distinguish ourselves from our mother body SANTACO` which deals mainly with policy issues, whereas our main thrust is the implementation of the company’s commercial mandate.

Secondly, we needed to develop a mechanism with which to select a list of preferred vehicles and preferred dealers specifically targeted at consumer protection.

TaxiChoice needed to ensure that the procedure in selecting vehicles and dealers is independent and transparent. To achieve this, we have assisted with the establishment of an independent not for gain organization, the Independent Taxi Advisory Services (ITAS) which will develop and maintain the list of preferred vehicles and preferred dealers.

The organization runs on a committee basis and three qualified persons have been appointed to the selection panel receives all the necessary inputs on vehicles and dealers; develop transparent processes and procedures for impartial evaluation and ultimately publish the resulting approved lists. The organization may also be required to establish infrastructure and procedures to audit the approvals on an on-going basis.

The third and critical requirement has been the development and implementation of the risk reduction model, which we believe reduces the risks of taxi vehicle finance to our banking partners thereby increasing the number of financeable taxi deals. In this regard, TaxiChoice’ risk reduction role stretches from cradle to grave of the taxi vehicle finance assessment process, the biggest part of which is the scoring and verification of the transaction prior to submission to banks. This thus entails in summary, verifying, scoring and qualifying of the following; all legal documentation including the applicants’ Operating License; Operators detailed route analysis from our own data base (for affordability purposes), the applicant’s selected vehicle, the individual applicant; the applicant’s Association. (In terms of bad debt history). This we coined our pre-sale service to the banking partners.

The after-sale process involves the assistance to banks and financiers with the tracing of errant clients; Collection services on defaulted clients as well as the refurbishment and resale of vehicle/s if repossessed.

The fourth pillar is the Creation of Taxi Centre Advisory Service which we hope to roll out throughout the country to service our members in a fair, efficient & transparent manner, regardless of affiliation. Broadly speaking, this centre aims to: Service the members by packaging finance applications in a manner that meets the banks’ criteria; Assist the members to access taxi funding from our partnering banks and financiers; Source vehicles through our numerous selected franchise dealers; and finally, Inform and protect our members from unscrupulous dealers who punt unnecessary vehicle extras, and recently, we have seen a need to advise our members on debt counselling. In this regard, we are continuously lobbying for the NCR’s input, advice and support in how TaxiChoice can best assist the member.

The fifth and final pillar of our business case is the implementation of an income distribution process between the provinces (consisting of regional and local taxi associations) and the company, TaxiChoice. This step is important in defragmenting the taxi industry and giving power back to the members. The industry’s greatest strength is its collective bargaining power, and therefore TaxiChoice’ strength and impact in the industry and the ordinary member, lies in strengthening our ties with the industry via the respective provinces.