Starting a minibus taxi business in South Africa is a rewarding venture. South Africa’s minibus taxi industry plays a crucial role in the country’s public transportation system, providing millions of people with a convenient and affordable way to get around. Minibus taxis in South Africa are the most available and most affordable form of public transportation used by the majority of people. Despite some people owning their own vehicles there are still innumerable numbers of people needing public transport. According to the South African National Taxi Council, the minibus taxi industry transports more than 16 million per day. This article will outline how to start the minibus taxi transport business in South Africa and the minibus taxi business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

Market Research

The public transportation sector is extremely broad and is also characterised by fierce competition. So before you set out to start your minibus public transportation business in South Africa, you have to do some extensive market research to get a grip of the industry. You must appreciate that minibus taxis are different from other public service vehicles including regarding seating capacity. This means you cannot just service any route you want and thus you will have to research about that.

There are many ways in which you can package your services e.g. catering for a particular route doing pick and drops. You could do airport pickups or ferry school kids to and fro school. You could specifically niche by focusing on corporate clients where you ferry them to and fro work daily. These are just some of the possible services one could offer.

So the point is you must do market research and decide which type of services you want to offer, and for which routes. Ensure that you study existing players’ business structures, strategies, marketing approaches and pricing regimes plus so much more. Be very thorough in your pursuit to gather as much information so that you make informed decisions in building your business. That’s why it is essential for you to have a detailed minibus taxi business plan before you start this business.

Premises, Vehicles And Equipment

You will need minibuses since they will be the major component of your business. The number of minibuses will depend on your intended scale of business operations and also the amount of capital which you have. You will have to get the minibus taxis branded (if needs be; it depends on your marketing approaches). You will need to get equipment for the minibuses that are mandatory with respect to regulations. We are talking about things like fire extinguishers, emergency warning triangles, jacks and so on – basically things that are mandatory by law and are necessary for preparedness to deal with any incidentals. When it comes to fleet management you can choose to have your own garage/workshop or you can outsource services as and when you need them. Depending on the number of minibus taxis you will be operating you might need a base of operations for communication purposes (a dispatch centre of sorts). That essentially would bring us back to the issue of having your own garage or workshop which could also play that role all in one.

The other important decision to make is whether to purchase brand new minibus taxis or second hand vehicles. Ideally it will be better to purchase brand new minibus taxi vehicles as they are more reliable and efficient with low repair and maintenance costs. However, if you have limited capital, then you may start the minibus taxi business with used vehicles which are cheaper. You have also to consider the seating capacity of the minibus taxis. This will depend on your operational strategy and the routes which you want to service. The most common modern model for minibus taxis in South Africa is the Toyota Quantum. The other modern models used in South Africa include the Nissan NV350 and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The costs of purchasing the minibus taxis and equipment should be included in your minibus taxi business plan.

Maintenance & Repairs

In the realm of South African minibus taxi operations, the importance of maintenance and efficient repairs cannot be overstated. It’s a linchpin of ensuring the safety of passengers and the sustainability of your business. Preventative maintenance takes center stage, involving regular checks of critical components like the engine, brakes, tires, lights, and more. These proactive measures not only enhance passenger safety but also extend the lifespan of your fleet, ultimately reducing the long-term costs associated with repairs. A well-maintained fleet not only instills confidence in passengers but also translates to fewer service interruptions, contributing to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The expertise of skilled technicians is equally essential. Minibus taxis endure considerable wear and tear from daily operations, making the competence of your mechanics and technicians paramount. It’s crucial to have access to professionals who can diagnose and address issues promptly, minimizing downtime. Moreover, forging strong partnerships with reputable repair shops and spare parts suppliers can streamline the repair process, ensuring that your vehicles spend less time off the road.

Budgetary considerations play a pivotal role in this equation. Creating a dedicated budget for maintenance and repairs is essential to ensure that these expenses are accounted for without negatively impacting your financial stability. While cost-cutting measures may be tempting, investing in quality maintenance and repairs ultimately pays dividends by reducing unforeseen repair expenses and maintaining a fleet that passengers can rely on. Exploring strategies such as bulk purchasing of spare parts and negotiating maintenance contracts with trusted service providers can help optimize your budget, ensuring that your minibus taxi business remains both safe and financially viable.

Minibus Taxi Services

There are many possible services to offer in this is type of business including the usual pick and drops, ferrying school kids, airport pick ups and private hires. One of the key factors in choosing the type of services to offer is the distance to be covered. For instance, if you plan on servicing a long distance route, for instance 150 kilometres that would mean you can do pick and drops along the way.

Alternatively you could use a booking system to ensure you only ferry people travelling the whole distance. You could also offer hiring services for a broad range of customers. If it is intra-city you can also follow the same approaches i.e. pick and drops, ferrying full-distance passengers or offering hiring services. If you are enterprising enough and always have an eye out you can notice many other services that you can offer.


Routes are the lifeblood of any minibus taxi business in South Africa. When embarking on this entrepreneurial journey, it’s essential to strategize your routes effectively to ensure the success of your venture. The first route category to consider is connecting the bustling City Centre (CBD) to and from nearby residential areas. These routes cater to the daily commuting needs of residents, providing a convenient and reliable means of transportation to work, shopping, and other activities in the city center. Efficiency and timeliness are key in meeting the demands of this busy crowd.

Expanding your reach, consider establishing routes that connect different residential areas within a city. Passengers often rely on minibus taxis for social visits, events, or errands within their city. By providing comfortable and efficient transportation options, you can tap into the steady demand for intra-city travel.

To broaden your revenue potential, explore inter-city routes that connect major cities in South Africa. People travel between cities for business, leisure, and family visits, presenting an opportunity for your minibus taxi business to thrive. Additionally, consider routes that bridge the gap between urban centers and rural areas, catering to the transportation needs of residents who rely on these services for access to essential facilities. Operating in rural areas requires careful planning and a commitment to serving these communities.

Minibus Taxi Licences and Insurance

To operate a minibus taxi business in South Africa, there are some legal requirements you have to adhere to. All your vehicles should be registered and have a valid vehicle licence which is renewed annually. Any person that transports passengers in South Africa must obtain a public operating licence, this applies also to minibus taxi drivers. A  public operating licence is a permit or document giving drivers permission to transport people for public gain. All your drivers should also have drivers license. The minibus taxi drivers should also have have a professional driving permit for driving passenger vehicles.  It’s important that you adhere to all the regulation otherwise you risk getting fined and losing your operating license.

When operating a minibus taxi business in South Africa, it is important to protect all of the assets of your business. Appropriate and adequate insurance coverage is an important part of protecting your taxi business. It is better to take out comprehensive insurance policies for all your vehicles. This is the most extensive form of insurance and covers you in the event of theft, hijacking, loss and/or damage caused by an accident, fire and natural disasters, and claims made against you by third parties where you are responsible for the damage to their vehicle. The costs of insurance and licences should be catered for in your minibus taxi business plan.

Minibus Taxi Business Model

The Minibus Taxi Business Model is a straightforward yet critical component of operating a successful minibus taxi business in South Africa. It begins with the purchase of vehicles, followed by the hiring of drivers who will operate these vehicles on specific routes. These routes are carefully chosen to cater to the transportation needs of commuters. Minibus taxis are typically stationed at taxi ranks, where passengers board until the vehicle is full, and they pay a fixed fare for the journey. This model relies on efficiency and passenger capacity to maximize revenue while serving the transportation needs of the community.

The major expenses that minibus taxi businesses encounter include fuel, driver salaries, vehicle repairs and maintenance and the necessary licenses and insurance. Profitability hinges on the number of trips the minibus taxis can complete each day. A higher volume of trips translates to increased revenue, which should ideally cover the substantial expenses, primarily fuel and other operational costs. With careful management and strategic planning, a profitable minibus taxi business can even generate enough revenue to expand by purchasing additional vehicles, thus further contributing to its growth and success in meeting the demands of South African commuters.

Staff And Management

This is informed by your scale of operations. The most elementary scale of operations is by being an owner-driver. If this is your level then you can do all that has to be done without hiring anyone. It becomes a different story when you have several minibuses in operation. You would need more hands on deck to run and manage the day to day business activities.

One of the key things to be on top of is close monitoring of how drivers are conducting their trips. Having to ensure that daily revenue targets are being adhered to by the drivers, responsible vehicle handling and many other things will require some full-time staff. Management can always effectively be done by the owner if the business is relatively small to medium scale. When the business grows to huge proportions you might end up needing to have supervisors, managers and even a workshop or garage. Necessary staff for a medium to large scale business include marketing staff, operations staff, finance and accounting staff. Operations staff includes drivers, conductors, mechanics, supervisors and operations managers. Your minibus taxi business plan should include costs for the wages and salaries of all your staff.

Minibus Taxi Business South Africa

Minibus Taxis

Market for Minibus Taxi Business

Despite the competition, the market for minibus taxis is vast and inexhaustible. According to the South African National Taxi Council, the minibus taxi industry transports more than 15 million per day. This show that the demand for minibus taxis is high in South Africa. The majority of these public transport commuters are low income earning individuals. Minibus taxis are the preferred mode of transport for over 50% of the South African population who earn R3 000 or less per month and can’t afford private transport. A proper marketing strategy should be included in your minibus public transport business. 

Keys to Profitability

In the dynamic landscape of the minibus taxi business in South Africa, achieving and maintaining profitability requires a strategic approach and an acute understanding of the market. First and foremost, route optimization is a fundamental aspect. Carefully selecting and fine-tuning your routes is crucial to attracting a consistent flow of passengers. Routes connecting urban centers, residential areas, and transportation hubs tend to yield higher passenger demand. Regularly assessing and adapting to changing commuter patterns ensures that your minibus taxis remain a preferred choice for travelers.

Efficiency in vehicle maintenance is paramount. Regular servicing and maintenance not only reduce repair costs but also instill passenger confidence in the safety and reliability of your fleet. A well-maintained fleet is less likely to experience disruptions due to breakdowns, ensuring a steady stream of revenue. Managing operational costs effectively is another key element. This includes vigilant monitoring of expenses such as fuel, driver salaries, vehicle repairs, and marketing efforts. Implementing cost-saving measures, such as fuel-efficient driving techniques and bulk purchasing of essential supplies, contributes to overall profitability.

Moreover, setting an optimal pricing strategy is essential. Competitive yet fair pricing that takes into account the distance traveled and local market rates strikes a balance between attracting passengers and covering costs with a reasonable profit margin. Maximizing vehicle utilization by ensuring minibuses operate at full capacity during each trip is vital. Offering incentives during off-peak hours can attract additional passengers, while efficient scheduling and reliable service help retain customer loyalty. Building a reputation for excellent customer service and investing in marketing and branding efforts to raise awareness can set your minibus taxi business apart in a crowded market. Compliance with regulations, meticulous financial management, and a commitment to continuous improvement complete the formula for achieving and sustaining profitability in the South African minibus taxi industry.

Advantages of Minibus Taxi Business in South Africa

Embarking on a minibus taxi business in South Africa presents a range of compelling advantages that make it an appealing entrepreneurial pursuit. Firstly, the country’s significant population and urbanization have fostered a robust demand for public transportation. Minibus taxis are instrumental in meeting this demand, serving as a vital mode of mobility for millions of daily commuters. This substantial customer base ensures a consistent flow of passengers, offering a strong foundation for business growth and profitability.

One of the standout features of the minibus taxi business is its inherent flexibility. Entrepreneurs have the liberty to tailor their services according to specific routes, schedules, or even special events. This adaptability allows for a diverse range of business models, from short intra-city trips to long-distance journeys between cities and rural areas, accommodating a wide spectrum of customer needs. With effective route optimization, reliable scheduling, and prudent cost management, the potential for achieving healthy profit margins is significant.

Moreover, beyond its financial benefits, the minibus taxi industry plays a vital role in job creation, offering employment opportunities for drivers, mechanics, administrative personnel, and support staff. Entrepreneurs who venture into this sector contribute to the overall economic development of their communities by providing essential transportation services that enable access to employment, education, healthcare, and social activities. The industry’s relatively low entry barriers further democratize entrepreneurship, making it accessible to a diverse group of individuals interested in participating in South Africa’s transportation landscape. In sum, the minibus taxi business presents a compelling blend of economic potential, adaptability, and community impact, making it an enticing choice for aspiring entrepreneurs in South Africa.


For an in-depth analysis of the minibus taxi business in South Africa, purchase our minibus taxi public transport business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the minibus public transport business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a minibus taxi transport business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the minibus business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the minibus taxi business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The minibus public transport business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your minibus taxi business
  • As a minibus taxi project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the minibus transport business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation


The business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • 5 Year Automated Financial Statements [ Income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, monthly cash flow projections (3 years monthly cash flow projections, the remaining two years annually),break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortisation]
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the minibus taxi business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your minibus taxi public transport business in South Africa

The Minibus Taxi Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Minibus Taxi Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 73 pages)
  2. Minibus Taxi Transport Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 73 pages)
  3. Minibus Taxi Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 44 pages)
  4. Minibus Taxi Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of minibus taxis, number of trips done per day etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.


We decided to make the business plan affordable to anyone who would want to start the business, and the price for the pre-written business plan is only 500 Rand.

We have several payment methods which you can use.

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The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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Click Buy Now below to purchase. After you have purchased, you will instantly see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. We will also email you the download link. Get instant access to the business plan now!

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Instant EFT then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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