The job-creating potential of the metered taxi industry in South Africa's urban areas: some preliminary findings
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The Employment Growth and Development Initiative (EGDI) is a programme run by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) aimed at developing possible future employment and growth scenario's for the South African economy. This multifaceted programme has as one of its aims, an analysis of economic diversification and the identification of potential future growth sectors. Identification of these future potential growth sectors is driven by two parameters. First the EGDI is looking for growth sectors which currently exist or could exist within the current growth and development path of the economy. In this way the programme seeks to identify nascent, latent, underdeveloped and potential sectors which with some catalytic action could attain their untapped, true potential. Second, the EGDI is looking for sectors which have a high labour absorption capacity, especially within the unskilled or semiskilled labour force which characterizes the majority of the unemployed in South Africa at present. With these two criteria in mind the EGDI is conducting preliminary research work on sectors which fit within these two parameters. This proposal considers one possible candidate - the metered taxi sector. The metered taxi industry fits both the above criteria well. As such this proposal
provides a general introduction to the industry and its potential to grow and absorb labour. It is hoped that this introductory note will be sufficient to catalyze a more intensive research and consultation process such that the true potential of the sector can be understood. If the final outcome of this research and consultation process is that the sector could easily generate new employment opportunities, it is envisaged that the project will be taken forward by a delivery department in any of the appropriate spheres of government such that actual employment opportunities emerge from concrete project development and implementation.