A Nyanga schoolgirl, who started an e-hailing taxi service for and operated by women, is receiving threats from taxi drivers who are accusing her of taking their customers.
On Monday, Asiphe Mkhefa, 18, confirmed to the Daily Voice that she had been threatened, but denied rumours that she had to go into hiding and quit her business, called Women Go.
The brave teen told Daily Voice: “The fact that I’m being harassed by taxi drivers is true, but seeking refuge with my family? No, sir.”
The young business woman said she had to pause operations for two days due to the threats, but is not discouraged: “Threats were there yes, but I am not shaken by them. No, not at all.”
Her cellphone number is easily accessible as people use it to book rides and she said she received a threatening phone call.
She refused to divulge what the caller said to her, but said her drivers also get harassed when picking up clients.
Asiphe said she did not press charges with cops, adding that her business is going strong and she is not giving up.
The teen started the WomenGo service to keep females safe from violence.
The Grade 12 Vista High learner said all her drivers are women and they only cater for female passengers.
“I just wanted to create a platform that ensures safety for women. I want them to travel in comfort and not be worried that they might not make it home in one piece,” she said.
The service was well-received by women, and there have been calls for it to be launched in other provinces as well.
Santaco spokesperson in the province Gershwin Geyer says they condemn any abuse or threats against taxi operators.
He urged Asiphe to contact Santaco to report abuse.
“We are not aware of the threats she received, but Santaco is against any form of abuse and gender-based violence,” he said.
“She can contact our offices to discuss ways to operate her business.”
The MEC of Transport Bonginkosi Madikizela was not available for comment.