Meet taxi operator Juliet Mamqibela Murembiwa from the Giyani Malamulele Johannesburg Long Distance Taxi Association (Gimajoldta).
From being an office bearer to an owner, Murembiwa speaks well about the minibus taxi industry on how she and her family lived and appreciated what the sector has over the years managed to hold her family together.
Her husband, Fanuel Murembiwa, died in July last year aged 72 and was a member of the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA). The couple has four children together. The proud owner believes that had it not been for the taxi industry her lot would not have changed much.
“The sector has given me a life full of opportunities and also a good future to look forward to. On top of that it also gave me an opportunity to send my only son to school,” says Murembiwa of her son Sello, who is today a sergeant working in the SAPS division in Bloemfontein, Free State.
The 51-year-old mother of four adds that not a single day passes by without her putting bread on the table for her extended family which now includes Sello’s four children.
“It is important for me to help look after my son’s kids because I just want to be a good grandmother to them,” Murembiwa points out.
She urges all women in the minibus taxi industry not to undermine their ability to run successful businesses because they are as much capable to do so as men.
“The industry, if it can work for me, can also work for any woman who is in the sector. We learn from each other and that is important,” says Murembiwa.
Born and bred in Botlokwa’s Kga-Machaka in a place called Ma-Toks, Limpopo. Murembiwa began working in her association’s offices in 2000 as just an office-bearer before getting promoted in 2004 as a taxi owner. Ever since she’s never looked back. Her hard work and discipline have paid off- two features that she says have helped her a lot in her career.
“The management may have been impressed with my discipline and level of respect I had towards my colleagues and thus decided on promoting me to the level of being an owner,” says Murembiwa.