Taxi drivers’ ‘short right’ to a smart look

SUITING UP: Bay taxi drivers appear amenable to a movement introduced by Santaco to change the dress code of drivers and improve safety in the industry
SUITING UP: Bay taxi drivers appear amenable to a movement introduced by Santaco to change the dress code of drivers and improve safety in the industry
Image: WERNER HILLS

Suits, ties and golf shirts accompanied by calls for “town, town” could become a common sight around Nelson Mandela Bay, with taxi drivers looking to suit up before they slide out for a day’s work.

Taxi drivers in Johannesburg have already become part of the taxi industry transformation where drivers are required to wear formal clothes three days a week and a golf T-shirt for two days so as to look more presentable and professional in the industry.

The idea is the brainchild of SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) Gauteng chair Buti Mkonza and has generally been well received by drivers.

The Herald spoke to commuters and taxi drivers in Greenacres to find out their views on the movement.

 “Safety is not based on formal wear. I do support the movement, but I don’t think it should be a suit-and-tie type of formal. I think it is something that should have been done a long time ago.” — Jeff Ngqokoma, 32, taxi driver living in Newton Park

 “Neatness is required but not a suit and tie necessarily, because taxi driving is not office work. Maybe just a golf shirt and a pair of jeans would be fine.”  — Yolanda Kate, 40, taxi rank marshal from Kwazakhele

 “Taxi drivers wearing suits and white shirts would not be practical because if a tyre bursts on the road, they won’t be able to fix it if they’re wearing a suit.”  — Thuso Fina, 15, taxi conductor

 “I agree with the taxi drivers wearing uniforms, because then we can differentiate between taxi drivers and other workers. It doesn’t even have to be formal, just as long as it’s neat.”  — Xola Gqoloza, 26, commuter from Uitenhage

 “I think it is a good idea, because it will be easy to identify a taxi driver. It will make it easier for them to represent their job and be proud of being a taxi driver. My only concern is where these uniforms will come from.”  — Tony Bartness, 54, taxi driver from Gelvendale

“It doesn’t matter how taxi drivers are dressed. What’s important is how the drivers’ behave and their attitude.” — Luthando, 23, commuter from Wells Estate

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