• We cannot drive while on “autopilot” while doing other things such as using our cellphones, applying make-up or eating. Our article in Servamus: April 2021 explains why it is dangerous to multi-task while driving.

  • Do you agree that having more roadworthy vehicles on our roads will contribute to road safety and less crashes? If you don’t, read our Community Safety Tips in Servamus: April 2021 where we explain why we believe it would.

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By Kotie Geldenhuys

They are all over our roads, they stop wherever they want to, ignore red traffic lights and are motorists’ worst nightmare. Drivers of minibus taxis are often described as being unlawful, aggressive and dangerous drivers. And yet, millions of South African commuters often have no choice but to put their lives in the hands of these taxi drivers each day.

For decades the minibus taxi industry, which is a multi-billion rand business, has been the preferred method of transportation for millions of South African commuters daily. Way back in 1999 it was stated that the taxi industry provides transportation for between five and ten million people every day and that it had a daily turnover of R15 million (Weekly Mail & Guardian, 1999). By 2020, the minibus taxi industry was responsible for 75% of all daily transport with approximately 15 million commuter trips daily to work, schools and universities, to access healthcare, shopping or for leisure. Exact figures are hard to pin down because the industry is unregulated and operates on a cash basis. It is estimated that the industry generates R90 billion in revenue annually (Fobosi, 2020).

Although using minibus taxis is more expensive than buses and trains, it is used by the majority of commuters, simply because they provide a more efficient service, especially over shorter routes. They are also more widely available, reaching places that the buses and trains do not. Simultaneously, it is also regarded as one of the most unsafe ways of transportation.

When the National Taxi Task Team, which was formed by Mr Mac Maharaj, the Minister of Transport at the time, published its findings in 1996, it noted a doubling of road crashes from 30 000 in 1984 to 60 000 in 1994. The rest of the findings are even more shocking with a tripling in fatalities in 1984 from 330 to 1000 in 1994 and a tripling of serious injuries from 2000 in 1984 to 6000 in 1994. Minor injuries also tripled, from 3500 in 1984 to 10 500 in 1994. A study on fatalities involving minibus taxis in comparison to other vehicles during 1992 to 1998, found that fatality rates for minibus taxi passengers were both higher and escalating, while fatality rates for other vehicles demonstrated a downward trend (Department of Transport, 2020a). In 1998 alone, taxis were involved in 70 000 crashes in which 900 passengers and 1385 drivers were killed (Weekly Mail & Guardian, 1999). In 2018, researchers from the North-West University published a study focusing on road fatalities in South Africa, using data from 2015. They found that minibus taxis contributed to approximately 9% of fatalities, with the researchers estimating that three of the 36 people killed every day on South African roads travel in minibus taxis (BusinessTech, 2018). In 2018, minibus taxis accounted for 19.2% of major crashes, even though they accounted for only 1.6% of the total number of vehicles on the road (Road Traffic Management Cooperation, 2019).

In 1996, the National Taxi Task Team (NTTT) report further that they found that minibus taxis involved in crashes were not compliant with traffic regulations, that these vehicles had significant defects and that there was a general lack of vehicle maintenance. In terms of driver behaviour, the report revealed that typical problems which were noted included speeding, observing limited to no following distances, performing dangerous overtaking not switching on headlights after sunset and lacking seatbelt usage.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: April 2021. If you are interested in finding out how you can read the rest of the article which deals with contributing factors to crashes involving minibus taxis; aggressive taxi driver behaviour; speeding; overloading; driver fatigue and fitness; roadworthiness and corruption, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..]

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Servamus - April 2021

They are all over our roads, they stop wherever they want to, ignore red traffic lights and are motorists’ worst nightmare.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Desperate to get the Umgeni Municipality’s attention to fix the dangerous potholes on the roads in the Howick area in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, residents participated in a tongue-in-cheek pothole fishing competition at the end of February 2021.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Road crash scenes do not make for a picture to remember.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is not unusual to hear or read about a serious or fatal vehicle crash where one of the drivers was under the influence of alcohol.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - April 2021

Read More - Alternative mechanisms required - S v Frederick and Another 2018 (2) SACR 686 (WCC)
Two independent and unrelated matters were referred for review to the High Court in Cape Town (“the review court”), at the same time and by the same magistrate (“the trial court”).
Read More - Booysen v Minister for Safety and Security 2018 (2) SACR 607 (CC)
This is a matter in which Mr Johannes Mongo, who was a SAPS constable reservist, shot and wounded his girlfriend, Ms Elsa Booysen.
Read More In the matter between - Ms Nomachule Gigaba (Née [born]) Mingoma - The applicant; and Minister of Police - the first respondent; Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation - the second respondent (hereinafter referred to as the Hawks); Maj-Gen M O Ngwenya - the third respondent and attached to the Hawks; Capt K M Mavuso - the fourth respondent and attached to the Hawks; Sgt Norton Ndabami - the fifth respondent and attached to the Hawks; National Prosecuting Authority (“The NPA”) - the sixth respondent; and WISE4AFRICA - the seventh respondent. Case number 43469/2020 ZAGPPHC55 dated 11 February 2021, High Court, Pretoria (GP).
The applicant in this matter, Ms Gigaba, is the estranged (Afrikaans: “vervreemde”) wife of the former Cabinet Minister, Mr Malusi Gigaba.

Letters - April 2021

After being side-lined for the past 11 months due to COVID-19, Captain Khumalo is returning to active duty. Captain Khumalo has returned to child-care centres and schools across Cape Town from 17 February 2021, to resume his mission of educating children on safety issues.
Die Bejaardesorgfonds vir afgetrede polisielede het op 5 Maart 2021 ‘n groot geskenk van die Klub79+1 groep in die vorm van ongeveer 600 gebreide blokkies en klaargemaakte komberse ontvang.
April Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.