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By Jabulile Mbatha

Journalist


Taxi Wi-Fi gets the thumbs up at national association

Free Wi-Fi in taxis transforms lives: One driver's innovation sparks nationwide connectivity revolution, bridging digital divide.


The free Wi-Fi in a taxi that helped a driver’s daughter obtain her matric inspired Calvin Le Mottee’s innovation of free Sebenza Wi-Fi service to every vehicle of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco).

“The driver wrote to tell me what a difference the free Wi-Fi made in his family’s life,” he said.

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“His daughter, for the first time, had internet at home because the Wi-Fi stays on even if her father’s taxi is switched off. She was able to study and did really well.”

This is the reach that almost all provinces have, with Northern Cape still in its infancy.

Taxi driver Mmatshikhidi Phala said having Wi-Fi in their vehicles “enhances the passengers’ experience, providing a convenient and productive way to stay connected during their journey”.

She added: “It also sets our service apart from competitors in this hotly contested public transport sector.

“It helps us attract more customers and equips us to meet their evolving needs, fostering a modern, tech-savvy image that we expect will boost our reputation and bottom line.”

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Le Mottee said the lack of transformation in the public transport industry prompted the idea.

“You wait in a long line, you use cash, the marshals are writing in the little books which taxi goes next – it’s all very manual. When you’ve a digital element such as connectivity, it opens up a lot of opportunities to digitise the industry.”

Users register on the Sebenza website and earn Sebenza bucks by watching adverts and get data rewards in return.”

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