South African investor in gold mining, gas and technology Joel Mafenya, has a long history of knowing ‘when and how’ to seize market opportunities through organisational innovation, creating in the process tangible change for the betterment of previously disadvantaged communities.
As the CEO of both the Taxi World monthly transport magazine and Floxifor Gold Mine in the impoverished rural community of Schweizer-Reneke in the North West, of which vision was to help facilitate the participation of black new entrants in notoriously lilly white South African industries, it was only a matter of time before he introduces another viable social enterprise, this time in the form of South Africa’s first wholly black-owned mobile network operator, Taxicom Mobile.
A hands-on type of entrepreneur not afraid to get his hands dirty along with his staff members, his passion for grassroots leadership development came to the fore on Saturday (January 23) in Orlando West, Soweto, where he was welcoming a group of newly signed Taxicom Mobile agents, bringing to life the phrase ‘township economy re-imagined’.
With the advent of COVID-19 continuing to threaten people’s lives and livelihoods, Mafenya took great pains to explain to the team the inspiration behind Taxicom Mobile, saying: “While it’s completely devastating to watch how coronavirus continue to cause havoc in our communities and the country at large, as a company it has allowed us to think differently and find ways to bring solutions that our citizens don’t only need, but will also empower them to become active participants in the economy of South Africa.
“It is an opportunity for us to reimagine the economy of our townships outside of the realms of joblessness and heightened levels of poverty as the result of COVID-19.”
Taxicom Mobile, a company with deep roots in community development
As a company with deep roots in community development, Taxicom Mobile’s aim is to create meaningful contribution to society “through the large scale job creation opportunities the company is currently embarking on, as well as existing business empowerment opportunities for individuals and small enterprises.”
Mafenya reiterated the company’s plan to create 6000 direct and indirect sustainable job opportunities and business opportunities across the country within the next five years.
In addition to the company’s extensive distributor/agent network, individuals would be able to sell airtime and data through the Taxicom Mobile app to their family members and colleagues, as well as transfer money and pay utility bills (electricity, water, DStv).
*For heads-up on what South African corporates are doing to empower local communities, make sure to regularly visit the Empower SA page!