More taxi drivers to be trained in safety campaign

ONLY 200 of the 550 000 people employed by the taxi industry have received training aimed at curbing harassment and sexual violence towards passengers.

The industry launched its “Safe Ride” campaign in Johannesburg in August last year, and the campaign’s second leg was launched in Gugulethu in Cape Town yesterday.

The Sonke Gender Justice NGO is collaborating with the South African National Taxi Association Council (Santaco) in the campaign.

Sonke community education mobilisation manager Nonhlanhla Skosana said that to prevent gender-based violence‚ men had to be engaged‚ which was why the NGO was working closely with taxi drivers.

“We have had a lot of buy-in from Santaco‚ and so far we have trained 200 taxi drivers and engaged with 80 more in Johannesburg‚” Skosana said.

Addressing a small crowd at Gugulethu Square taxi rank, Santaco president Philip Taaibosch said the association had to serve society responsibly.

“We have to ensure taxis are a friendly [mode of] transport for women‚ children and all of society.

“We are a serious employer and a serious industry‚ so why can’t we be serious about protecting women and children?” Taaibosch said.

Drivers will be educated about gender norms‚ gender stereotypes and how men could better engage in the prevention of gender-based violence.

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