Taxi Driver

Taxi drivers transport passengers for a fee. There are basically two categories of taxis: those that cater mainly for business travellers and tourists and those that service regular commuter routes (minibus taxi).

Taxi drivers that cater for business travellers and tourists usually transport people to airports, convention centres or places of entertainment. These drivers pick up passengers waiting in taxi lines at airports, bus and railroad terminals, convention centres or hotels. They may arrange to pick up particular customers or groups on a regular schedule.  They provide assistance to passengers entering and exiting the vehicles, and help them with any luggage.  They determine the fares based on the trip distances and times, using taximeters and fee schedules, and announce the fares to the passengers.  They need to record the name, date and taxi identification information on trip sheets, along with trip information such as time and place of pickup and drop-off, and total fee. 

Customers may also call taxi companies, which relay the information to their nearest taxi driver by means of two-way radio, telephone or mobile. These taxi drivers transport the passengers, collect the fee according to the meter in the taxi and record the transaction in a log. The taxi drivers in this category are expected to be familiar with tourist hotels, restaurants and places of interest.

Minibus taxi drivers transport: daily commuters from outlying areas to their places of work in the city or other industrial areas, and children to their schools. These taxi drivers charge a set fare for a particular route and distance. They collect passengers at taxi ranks at any point along regular routes. The passengers use hand signals to indicate the part of town to which they want to travel. They expect minibus taxi drivers to be familiar with peak hour traffic patterns and less congested routes to ensure that they get to work and school on time.

Taxi drivers need to vacuum and clean the interiors, and wash and polish the exteriors of the automobiles.  They perform routine vehicle maintenance such as regulating tyre pressure and adding petrol, oil and water, and perform minor vehicle repairs such as cleaning spark plugs, or take vehicles to mechanics for servicing.  They notify their dispatchers or company mechanics of vehicle problems.

Some satisfying aspects of this career include:

  • working without close supervision
  • working with people
  • taking responsibility for the safety of the taxi its
  • passengers
  • travelling

Some demanding aspects may include:

  • having to report to work at short notice if another
  • driver does not turn up
  • weekends, evenings or holidays
  • working under pressure
  • driving in rush hour traffic
  • driving in adverse weather conditions

Personal Requirements

  • at least 18 years old
  • in possession of a valid driver’s licence
  • good driving skills
  • good sense of direction
  • patient when waiting for customers
  • able to deal with rude customers
  • calm temperament for driving in congested traffic
  • reliable, so will pick up customers at times
    agreed upon
  • responsible and have integrity

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

No specific requirements

What to Study

There are many short training courses available for taxi drivers.


  • taxi companies
  • minibus taxi owners
  • self-employment, with enough experience, initiative and capital, can purchase own vehicle and operate independently and even start their own business
  • Uber Driver

Further Information

From any of the above-mentioned potential employers

South African National Taxi Council (Santaco)
Forum Building
159 Struben Street
Tel: (012) 321-1043

Getting Started

  • practise your driving skills and take an advanced driving course
  • arrange to speak to taxi drivers about this type of career

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