How to Start a Transport Company in South Africa
Transport is a big industry in South Africa. Every day, thousands of goods (and people) are transported around the country. The industry is relatively easy to enter due to low capital costs but this does mean that it's highly competitive.
Before you get started you'd need to identify which sub-industry you'd like to work in. Here are the 3 most popular categories:
- Taxi services (moving people).
- Logistics (moving goods).
- Waste Management (moving waste).
All types of transport companies would need to complete the following registrations and obtain the certificates listed below:
CIPC Company Registration
You must first register your transport company with the CIPC in order to formally trade as a registered (Pty) Ltd company in South Africa.
Read More: CIPC Company Registration
COID Letter of Good Standing
All companies with at least one employee must register at the department of labour for COID in order to cover their employees for any injuries they might get while on duty.
Read More: COID Letter of Good Standing
Tax Clearance Certificate (pin)
A tax clearance certificate (pin) is used by departments or contractors to confirm a company’s status at SARS.
Read More: Tax Clearance Certificate (Pin)
Public Operating Licence
All drivers who are transporting people (for an income) must get a public operating licence. You can download an application form from the Department of Transport’s website. You can also apply at the offices of the National Public Transport Regulator or your local municipality.
You'll need the following:
- RSA identity document / company registration certificate.
- A valid driver's licence.
- SARS Tax clearance certificate.
- Proof of insurance.
- Vehicle licence disc and road-worthy certificate.
- Registration certificate of the vehicle.
NPTR Operating Licence
An operating licence allows companies to legally transport goods for profit. You can obtain the license from your nearest National Public Transport Regulator (NPTR) branch.
You'll need the following:
- Your ID/passport
- A valid driver's licence
- COR 14.3 (CIPC company registration certificate)
- SARS Tax clearance certificate
Central Supplier Database
If you are wanting to transport goods for the government and large suppliers then you will need to be registered on the Central Supplier Database (CSD).
Read More: CSD Registration
All companies handling/transporting waste must obtain a waste license from the Department of Environmental Management. You can find out where to submit the requirements for the license here.
Here are a few pro tips:
- Make sure that your vehicles are insured as accidents do happen. Most insurance firms cover employees as well.
- A letter of good standing is a certificate obtained from the department of labour and is a requirement for any type of transport tender/contract.
- Taxi businesses can sign up with SANTACO, which represents taxi businesses and assists them with profitable routes.
- Register your transport company at the CSD department regardless of your nature of business as the department will inform you of available tenders you can apply for.
- Transport tenders require a company profile and business plan.
Once you have completed these steps, You will be able to offer private transport services and apply for tenders and contracts.