Five Types of Transport Businesses in South Africa

Updated on 11 July 2024

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types of transport businesses

South Africa has a budding transportation sector with numerous types of transport businesses. Many people use public transport to reach their jobs or any destination. By starting your own transport business, you can capitalise on the profitable network.

South Africa’s taxi market is expected to reach $0,33 billion in 2024. Experts project that the industry will experience an increase in users, with the number expected to reach 8,89 million by 2029.

To start a transport business, first decide on the type of transport service you want to offer. Next, determine who your target market will be.

For your transport business, you will need to identify what kind of transport business you want to provide, and which market you will target.

In this article, we look at the types of transport businesses in South Africa.

1. Taxi Business

The South African taxi business is growing rapidly despite a few challenges. Taxis are represented by the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO). SANTACO is the mouthpiece of the taxi industry.

To start a taxi business in South Africa, you must first buy a car. You can buy a new car or a used car. It is better to buy a new car, to stay in compliance with road safety regulations. Most taxis in South Africa are Toyota Quantums. The vehicle retails for just over R 1,2 million. Used Toyota Quantums can retail from R 380 000 up to R 500 000.

Once you have acquired your car, you need to apply for an operating licence from the Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE). Each province has its own PRE to monitor and oversee public transport in the province.

To register, you will need to provide your personal and vehicle documents. You may also need to get permits from the municipality where you plan to operate. These permits usually cover zoning regulations, parking, and loading zone requirements.

If you want to, you can join an existing taxi association that already operates in your area.

2. E-hailing Driver

E-hailing is a transport service that can be booked through apps. The biggest e-hailing company in the world is Uber. There are other e-hailing companies in South Africa such as Bolt and inDrive.

To become an e-hailing driver for any of these companies, you will need to register online. You can also register on their respective apps. You will need to provide your personal documents (ID and driver’s licence) and your vehicle’s documents. Once approved, you can begin taking rides.

E-hailing is not only about driving people to destinations, you can also deliver food. Delivery food apps such as Mr D and UberEats have food delivery apps. Customers can order from restaurants and the driver collects and delivers the food.

On the Uber app, you can also deliver packages to customers. UberEats also gives you the opportunity to deliver groceries to customers.

There are many other food delivery apps you can deliver for, to make extra money. Apps such as Zulzi operate till 10 pm, so you can deliver for them after knocking off from your other e-hailing job.

This can be a very high-earning job, as you could earn around R 8 000 per week.

3. Courier Services

Starting a courier service business can make you a lot of money. People are always needing to move goods around and you can provide that service for them. South Africa’s Courier, Express, and Parcel market is estimated to be worth $207,96 million in 2024.

There are many players in this sector, local and international. The sector features some big names such as PostNet, UPS, FedEx South Africa, and Aramex South Africa.

To start a courier business, you will need to be over the age of 18. This is because the legal driving age in South Africa is 18. You will also need a vehicle to deliver the goods. If you want to deliver across the country, you will need a strong vehicle that can handle long distances and heavy packages.

You will also need to invest in insurance. There are various insurance policies to consider for a courier business. This includes goods-in-transit insurance, fleet insurance, public liability insurance, and employer’s liability insurance.

4. School Children Transport Business

Transporting school children can be a very lucrative business. Most parents choose to send their children to good schools, but those schools can be far from home. Parents rely on these transportation services to safely get their children to school.

To start your transportation business, you will need a safe vehicle that can safely transport children. You will also need to have a valid driver’s licence and a professional driving permit (PrDP). To stand out amongst other businesses, you can implement things such as GPS tracking to provide real-time updates to parents, cameras to ensure the safety of the little passengers, and a maintenance system to ensure you reduce breakdowns and delays.

5. Logistics Business

The logistics industry is a vital player in South Africa’s economy. The industry is expected to reach $30,56 billion by 2029. A logistics company can be anything from courier services, shippers, and cold chain logistics amongst many others.

As with any business, the first step is to register your company with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). You will also need a tax clearance certificate from the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Additionally, you will need an operator’s licence from the Department of Transport. You will also need to comply with the regulations set out by the National Road Traffic Act of 1994.

These are just a few of the transport businesses you can choose from in South Africa. You can also start a food delivery business, you can provide long-distance truck services etc., the possibilities are endless.

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