Taxi drivers will soon have the fi aid skills to save lives and attend to accident victims. This is thanks to a joint initiative by the Department of Transport, Netcare 911 and the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) to train taxi drivers in first aid skills so that they can give first-line care to injured people.
SANTACO and the Department of Trans- port have already nominated the first group of drivers for training in Johannesburg, but plans in place to implement the project nationally.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Midrand, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said that the death of about 40 people on the country’s roads every day and more than 14 000 a year, was a cause for great concern He noted that taxis transport more than 65 per cent of public road users and therefore needed to be fully equipped with tools to save lives during crashes.
“Taxi drivers are key members of the com- munity who spend a considerable amount of time on South Africa’s roads. They are therefore often the fi t on the scene of an emergency. By providing our taxi drivers with sound knowledge of first aid, they will be in a better position to assist injured and sick people, thereby saving lives,” the minister added.
Netcare 911 will train the drivers. Managing Director of Netcare 911, Tumi Nkosi, said the course covered a range of subjects from ad- ministering CPR to splintering a broken arm. The course was a proactive attempt to reduce fatalities on South Africa’s roads, Nkosi explained. First aid knowledge would empower taxi drivers to act positively in an emergency situation and equip them to be society’s first line of defence in an emergency, he added.
SANTACO President Mlayedwa Msiza said that it was through practical partnerships such as the one between itself, the Department of Transport and Netcare 911 that SANTACO would be able to realise its ambition to delivering a better and more caring taxi service to South Africans.