This year the launch of the brandhouse/ RTMC Number One Taxi Driver Campaign will take place amidst the country’s increasing fervour and excitement of the Soccer World Cup. Once again, taxi drivers throughout South Africa are being called upon to support and be a part of this initiative which is launching today.
The Campaign has gained incredible momentum since its inception six years ago, and continues to enjoy the positive impact of the strategic partnership between the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and brandhouse. This partnership has been instrumental in increasing the Campaign’s reach to a wider audience within the taxi industry, as well as in strengthening the campaign’s objectives.
As one of South Africa’s leading alcohol beverage companies, Brandhouse is committed to promoting responsible alcohol consumption. brandhouse is a member of ARA, the Association for Responsible Alcohol Use and in addition, has a number of internal and external campaigns to promote responsible consumption.
When looking around to find the right area where the message about responsible drinking and road safety could be conveyed, brandhouse’s focus fell on the taxi industry mainly because of its impact on the lives of so many.
There are more than 150 000 minibus taxis in South Africa that transport millions of people every day, over short or long distances. Because of this, the taxi industry carries a huge responsibility for road safety. This becomes acute over December and Easter, with road congestion doubling. Driver fatigue increases as taxi drivers attempt to meet the additional demand placed upon them.
For all these reasons, brandhouse launched the Number One Taxi Driver Campaign in 2004.
During the Soccer World Cup there is an underlying expectancy for outstanding service delivery across the board and the taxi industry is no exception.
The brandhouse/ RTMC Number One Taxi Driver Campaign goes a long way to ensure that the best taxi drivers are on the country’s roads. The Campaign aims to find the top taxi driver in South Africa. The campaign also improves the skills of taxi drivers. brandhouse and its partners have adopted the campaign slogan “Putting Road Safety First” for the Campaign which encapsulates all that this initiative encompasses. This includes the search criterion of the best taxi drivers who ‘Put Road Safety First’ by:
• Staying within the speed limit,
• Not drinking and driving,
• Obeying the traffic laws, and
• Not driving when tired.
Selected drivers will undergo a theory and practical test in July, August and September 2010. The testing will be carried out in all nine provinces. This year the number of tested drivers has been increased from 1200 for 2009 to 2240 for 2010. A regional winner will be chosen and will go on to represent his or her province at the National Finals later this year. The national winner stands a chance to win a Toyota Quantam Ses’fikile vehicle.
Last year’s brandhouse/ RTMC Number One Taxi Driver was Lunga Tilolo from the Eastern Cape Province.
In 2010 the Campaign will still focus on the education of the drivers from the practical testing phase right through to the National Finals.
“This year brandhouse, together with the RTMC and Toyota, will continue to show commitment towards ‘Putting Road Safety First’ by increasing the scale of the project in terms of awareness through the media to commuters and taxi drivers alike, as well as the level of education that the taxi drivers receive. Brandhouse’s decision to increase the overall investment in this initiative is driven by the annual growth in participation of taxi drivers and the credibility that the Campaign has gained within the taxi industry. We are very proud of what has been achieved so far and excited about where we plan to take it”, says Phumza Rengqe, CSR Manager brandhouse Beverages.
At least 250 000 entry forms will be distributed to more than 451 taxi ranks throughout the nine provinces, as well as at regional and national taxi associations and council offices. The entry form is also planned to be inserted into publications that target the Taxi industry such as Commuter SA, Taxi Guru and Safe Travel. To date, the Campaign has received over 500 000 entries, 10% of which were from female taxi drivers.
brandhouse is also proud to announce a new theme song for this year’s brandhouse/ RTMC Number One Taxi Driver Campaign. brandhouse and the RTMC have collaborated with renowned Cape Town jazz musician, Louw Bubeka, to create the rhythmic song “Dali Wam” as the heartbeat of the Campaign. The single will be promoted and distributed throughout the duration of the Campaign to all major community and regional radio stations.
The brandhouse/ RTMC Number One Taxi Driver Competition is supported by the Department of Transport, provincial transport departments and its agencies, while Toyota South Africa is also a sponsor. The Campaign also has the support of the national Minister of Transport, Sbu Ndebele. Importantly, the Campaign is endorsed by the taxi industry, namely the South African National Taxi Council and National Taxi Association.