I told you before that South Africa has 11 official languages, but we kind of forgot 1 and that is the taxi lingo!
They even have an official book about it; Taxi hand signs by Susan Woolf. Each sign has a specific destination, and you need to learn your sign otherwise you will end up somewhere completely different.
Every day the locals take taxis to go to their work, and these taxis are quite something! People line up on the side of the street every morning and evening and make these signs, so the taxi drivers know where they want to go and stop... abrupt, most of the time and let the person in their mini van. To the annoyance of me when I am driving behind them, because they make a sudden stop right in front of you!!
These drivers are the MOST DANGEROUS wild cowboys on the road!! They totally ignore the traffic rules, stuff 20-25 people in their bus/mini van actually which normally only fits 8-10 people. They overtake other cars on the right and the left, go through red, yellow and green lights whenever it suits them. So no wonder that MOST of the traffic accidents here, which happen daily and many many a day... a taxi driver is involved!! And they are not only dangerous and reckless drivers their mini van is mostly hanging together by duct tape, string or barbed wire, so chances are that they break down once in a while is very high!!
Accidents are often fatal, can you imagine having a mini van stuffed with so many people inside it is actually illegal in the rest of the world, but I guess not in SA, since nobody really does anything about it....
So I wouldn't advice a tourist to go into a mini van/taxi like the locals do, since it could be the wildest roller coaster ride you have ever made and it could end up really bad!! I don't ever see any expats like me hopping in one of those taxis, when we need a taxi we try to find a yellow cab, a normal car, much safer. But over here most expats have their own car or hire a taxi service via the office, not just plucking one of the street... it is just not done here in my area! If I like to have a roller coaster ride I go to the fair!!
So public transport is not really safe here, although they have a new Gautrain these days, which is an 80-kilometre mass rapid transit railway system in Gauteng Province, South Africa, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, and OR Tambo International Airport. It is hoped that this railway will relieve the traffic congestion in the Johannesburg–Pretoria traffic corridor and offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport, as Johannesburg has limited public transport infrastructure. But that is NOT for the local local people who can't afford this kind of futuristic transport, so the taxis still thrive... but maybe that is not the correct word for it... if you see how banged up they look like!! LOL
So how is the local public transportation where you live, pretty decent?? Do you use it?
Have a great day!