The Diepmeadow Taxi Owners Association works for the greater good of the community in which it operates because for any business to succeed working with the community is the best thing to do.
Thulani Nkosi, secretary for the association, says that they always put the interests of the community first in everything they do because as an association people in the community are the real owners of the association.
“We work extremely well with the community because in everything that we do we need to liaise with them. We do not take decisions that will at the end of the day impact them before talking to them,” says Nkosi.
He says that talking to the people has over the past years shaped the type of relationship that they now enjoy with the community.
“We have not raised our fares since the start of the lockdown last year because we felt it was not the right thing to do. Although we are feeling the financial strains we have decided not to increase these prices but we shall see what will happen this time around,” Nkosi says.
“During challenging times such as when there are funerals we release some of our vehicles to work with affected families by ferrying mourners to the cemeteries. We normally ask them to provide us with letters from their respective ward councillors,” adds Nkosi.
Nkosi, who only joined the top executive of Diepmeadow when he was co-opted in 2019, says that they will go to the elective conference on 24 June probably at the local community hall after they turned down the proposed venue of Birchwood conference centre in Boksburg which the mother body, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), had proposed.
“We are still in negotiations with the Santaco leadership on the venue issue and believe the time is still on our side to work on that. At the moment we are still working on reports to be tabled and presented during the elections,” said Nkosi.
Besides looking after the interests of the passengers in general Diepmeadow also has to ensure that the relationship with other sister associations operating in and around Soweto is normal. These associations include the Barameadow, Meadowlands Dube Nancefield (MDN) and Faraday Bree Street group – to mention among others.
“It is very important that we work well with these associations because we just happen to at times agree to use and share some of the routes. In the main, these are associations crossing to town such as MDN whose chairman Moya we know and is a good guy. Then we have BaraMeadow whose chairman Tshivhase is also a good person and we need to keep working with these guys because it is the right thing to do,” Nkosi indicates.
Lastly, says Nkosi, the Diepmow taxi association is working with the local South African National Civic Organization (Sanco) to look at getting new offices at the old Diepkloof post office premises because the place is now turning into squalor where homeless people sleep.
“With the assistance of Sanco we are seemingly winning the war,” Nkosi says.
For all that Diepmeadow stands for Nkosi says the association is known in the taxi industry as one where violence is not used to solve problems.
“We are not a violent association. If you look at some of the deaths of our members you find that many are natural deaths,” concludes Nkosi.