A young entrepreneur encourages the youth to develop local products to boost the economy, just like he has done.
Growing up with no reliable public transport in his rural hometown motivated Ntebatse Sekgodiso (30) to use his passion for technology to create an e-hailing app called PickUp Cab to solve the problem.
Sekgodiso, from Medingen Village in Limpopo, says his idea to provide reliable transport also created employment in the area, as people who lost their jobs as a result of the Coronavirus Disease lockdown became drivers.
“My friend and business partner Senzo Mkhize also loves that we are playing our part in fighting unemployment,” he says.
Sekgodiso and Mkhize started working on PickUp Cab in July 2020 and launched it on Google Play Store in late December. It has been operating ever since and is regularly updated and improved.
“PickUp Cab is a proudly South African initiative and this makes us proud. The money generated stays in our country, so I can proudly say our app is contributing to the economy,” says Sekgodiso.
PickUp Cab’s drivers operate in Kgapane, Lenyenye, Nkowa, Tzaneen, Turfloop and Polokwane and get 10% of the cost of the trip.
“We did not just want people to have reliable public transport, we also wanted to make it affordable for them. We also considered that our drivers need to wash and service their cars and buy petrol, so we need to charge reasonably,” says Sekgodiso.
The company, which is sifting through applications from prospective drivers, has a rigorous verification process to ensure passenger safety.
Relevant paperwork has to be supplied when drivers register their car, or their application is rejected. This helps us ensure that our drivers are legally allowed to transport people,” says Sekgodiso.
He hopes to expand the business beyond Limpopo.
“We would like to see PickUp Cab operating nationally in the near future. The long-term goal is to operate in other African countries and contribute to the economic growth of Africa as a whole.”
Sekgodiso’s success is the result of years of technological trial and error. He developed his first website in high school and has not looked back.
To download the app, search PickUp Cab on Google Play Store.