Recognising the need to create safe and secure passages to work and school, SDI Force says it has initiated the ‘Adopt-a-Safe-Passage to Work/School’ campaign. This is in partnership with Bridge Taxi Finance and FNB and aims to implement measures to decrease the risk of infection in taxis by up to 80%.
According to SDI, as South Africa emerges from lockdown, the minibus taxi industry is gaining momentum, ferrying workers and schoolchildren to multiple destinations across the country.
These vehicles are integral to our economy, transporting up to 70% of our national workforce daily. However, with the threat of Covid-19 still looming large, taxis are high-risk spaces and pose serious challenges to the commuters who rely on them, says SDI.
“The taxi industry is the connecting force for a huge part of our population and we are compelled to ensure these commuters are as protected and secure as possible,” says Brad Fisher, SDI Force co-founder.
“SDI Force collaborated with leading authorities in public health, communicable disease specialists, risk compliance experts, occupational health practitioners and even production engineers who assisted us with the taxi modification equipment,” adds Fisher.
“The city of Johannesburg has also played a crucial on the ground supporting role and we are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support,” says Fisher.
SDI Force was formed when the Supplier Development Initiative, an existing uberised platform made up of multiple micro-suppliers, was repurposed to function as a non-profit emergency relief programme during this national crisis.
“With SDI Force, we have two objectives,” says Andile Ramaphosa, SDI Force co-founder. “Firstly, we want to help mitigate the effects of the virus and, secondly, we want to ensure job security for this incredibly hard-working group of suppliers.”
So far, SDI Force has indicated it has delivered 9 000 food packs, which amounts to 450 individual meals to micro-traders that would have otherwise fallen through the cracks.
“We repurposed the waste-pickers and trained them to become skilled Covid-busters, spraying public places like taxi ranks, commercial enterprises and even the mayors’ office and building,” says SDI Force.