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The South African Taxi Industry has come a long way since the very first taxi was introduced more than half a century ago. The birth of this industry was a direct result of the industrialisation, which forced black South Africans from their traditional homesteads to the cities to look for work. The apartheid land act dispossessed the majority of people of their land and forced them into the urban labour market.

The emergence of this industry was both an opportunity for black people to advance economically under very trying circumstances, as well as to provide a service to our people. The deregulation of the industry in the 80's unleashed uncontrolled growth of the industry and provided fertile ground for conflicts over route and ranking facilities. During the same period the industry boomed into a giant sector, boasting urban market share of 65% that soon became unmanageable in the absence of any form of regulatory framework.

SANTACO was founded in September 2001 at the national conference held in Durban. The conference was the first ever to have taxi operators who never saw eye to eye, sit around one table and engage in robust debates that would shape the sectoral landscape of this transportation mode in the country. Prior to the conference that was coordinated by the National Conference Preparatory Committee (NCPC) led by government, there were a number of processes that preceded it to ensure maximum commitment from operators to reach this historic milestone.