Founded in 1996 and based in Midrand in Gauteng South Africa, SA Taxi is an independently owned commercial business that focuses exclusively on serving South African minibus taxi businesses. SA Taxi finances about 31,000 of the 250,000 taxis on South African roads by providing products such as vehicle purchase loans, a dedicated dealership, insurance, recovery, auto parts and more. These additional services empower Small and Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”) to succeed by helping entrepreneurs maximize their cash flow and protect their income-generating taxi assets.
The empowerment of underserved and emerging entrepreneurs who have limited access to traditional bank financing not only builds their individual businesses but also creates employment opportunities. All of SA Taxi’s borrowers are Black South Africans. About 22% of its customers are female and about 15% are youths.
Since 2008, SA Taxi’s financing activities have supported the creation of an estimated 91,000 small and medium-sized businesses and more than 165,000 direct and 275,000 indirect jobs in a country with an unemployment rate of nearly 33%.
SA Taxi plays a key role in reducing the carbon footprint created by the South African minibus taxi industry, with its operating activities resulting in a 9.8% abatement of tCO2e. This abatement is primarily driven by financing newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles including replacing 14-seater vehicles with 16-seaters. SA Taxi also has a rewards program whereby any minibus taxi operator may obtain certain parts at significantly reduced prices. This encourages operators to keep their vehicles maintained, ultimately contributing to the safety of vehicles on the South African roads.
Impact story – SA Taxi helping women succeed
“Little by little, [taxi operators] are growing in business – now they know what business all is about. I have managed as a woman in the industry by listening to other people and adopting what is important to succeed.” - SA Taxi customer in a 2020 interview.
SA Taxi has invested heavily in empowering female entrepreneurs in the industry by helping them create female-owned enterprises and financing vehicles.
While the minibus taxi industry in South Africa is dominated by men, there is a place for women – most of whom come into the business (often by default after the death of their husbands who owned taxis) as drivers, administrators, and vendors who supply valuable services to commuters and employees of the industry.
Although many women face adversity in the industry, they work hard putting in long hours to provide for their families and make the business successful.
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds supports organizations such as Community Reinvestment Fund through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.