South Africa

From Part-time Driver to Owner of a 15-vehicle Taxi Fleet

Bought first taxi
Employed at his taxi business

Mr. Philemon Nzima | Client of MicroVest portfolio company, SA Taxi

Mr. Nzima started working in the minibus taxi industry as a parttime driver but had dreams of becoming self-employed. In 1988, he bought his first Toyota and officially launched a minibus taxi business.

When Mr. Nzima wanted to purchase additional vehicles to expand his business, he needed financing but was unable to secure it through banks, as he had installments for other cars at the time. After hearing a presentation by an SA Taxi representative, he went to the company to request financing for three vehicles, and his application was approved.

Today, Mr. Nzima operates a fleet of 15 vehicles and employs 15 drivers, five mechanics, one woman who manages the finances, and his son, who works as the business’ manager. “Besides myself, my business generates 22 jobs,” said Mr. Nzima. “It’s a very hands-on business, and I must be there all the time to ensure that the business is running well.”

Mr. Nzima’s taxi business is his family’s only source of income. It has given him the ability to support his family, pay school fees for his five children, and enjoy a middle-class life. In addition to the impact that his business has had on his family, Mr. Nzima also believes that the minibus taxi industry plays an important role in South Africa. “Even though there is no government subsidy, the associations have managed to keep taxi fares reasonable for commuters. Our taxis also make it easy and efficient for commuters to move from point A to point B without unnecessary stops or stress.”

The client of our portfolio company profiled here is for educational purposes only and may not represent all of the portfolio holdings. It should not be assumed that investments in the company identified and discussed were or will be profitable. The companies profiled were selected based on their financial inclusion and impact with no reference to amount of profits or losses, realized or unrealized.