Taxi industry benefits from innovative fuel rewards program
Independent minibus taxi financier and certified developmental credit provider, SA Taxi, in collaboration with Taxi Choice, the commercial arm of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO), have created Black Elite, a pioneering multi-faceted rewards program that is helping the local taxi industry realise significant financial benefits.
“SA Taxi provides finance to, amongst others, the entrepreneurs who operate minibus taxis in South Africa. We therefore make a vital contribution to a market sector that has a stimulating effect on the national economy at many different levels,” explains SA Taxi Communications Executive, Maroba Maduma.
One taxi can provide a direct source of income for up to four people. This includes the driver, the marshal, the money collector, and the car washer. “The sector also supports additional income streams for committee members and those who benefit indirectly via the informal economy that supports the taxi ecosystem, such as food vendors, rank mechanics, and hawkers,” continues Maduma.
In an effort to provide additional financial support to the industry, both SA Taxi and Taxi Choice, combined forces to launch Black Elite.
To benefit from the rewards program, taxi owners need to register directly with SA Taxi, or via their association. Once enrolled, a Black Elite card linked to their taxi can be issued at any Taximart dealership or SA Taxi welcome centre, or collected from the owner’s taxi association. The card can then be swiped when filling up at participating Shell service stations to earn rewards.
“Shell has been selected as the program’s first loyalty partner, as the brand offers an extensive national network of service stations” explains Maduma. “We estimate that 450 million litres of fuel will be purchased from Shell and this level of consumption will ensure that the industry realises significant value from their existing spend with the brand.”
To date 3,324 cards have been distributed, with another 3,000 expected to be in circulation by the end of September 2018. “Based on these figures we expect to disburse in excess of R550,000 to taxi operators and over R129,000 to drivers and associations, respectively, in that time period,” states Maduma.
“This represents a significant contribution towards the financial sustainability and prosperity of what is arguably one of the most important cogs in the local economy. Without taxis, millions of South Africans would be unable to get to work. We are therefore working on expanding the programme to broaden its positive impact on both the taxi industry and society at large,” concludes Maduma.
These expansion plans include adding further benefits to the programme, such as tyres, oil, lubricants, discounts at Taxi Auto Parts (TAP) and Shell convenience stores, and the conversion of the Black Elite card into a functional bank card. The rewards programme may also expand to include purchases from other automotive fuel brands.
For further information, interested taxi owners or associations can visit Blackelite.co.za.