Andile Makaring talks to Skhona Khumalo, the founder of Khwela App which is a low cost transport solution for taxi commuters.
AM: What is Khwela and how long has it been operating?
SK: Khwela is essentially your one stop transport application, we have endeavoured to be the ones to assist the taxi community, taxi industry transition into the 21st century technology from any measure which increases the output the economy and we have the integration of technology in classical systems.
We have taken upon ourselves along with other colleagues that are in the space to really introduce technological innovation into the taxi industry. So Khwela endeavours to engage with commuters where we will provide them with virtual solutions at their fingertips.
AM: The slogan of Khwela is moving uBuntu, tell us in a society where we live in a selfish and very egotistical how do you plan on moving uBuntu through Khwela?
SK: What we are saying I mean uBuntu everybody associates with it and everybody understands it.
AM: Just to clarify to the audience uBuntu means humanity.
SK: So we moving that is the whole thing, transport is where the moving comes in, we moving our people into the 21st century way of uBuntu, which is through technology.
We believe technology is a means of expressing oneself and for our people to gather in critical mass on what we call the virtual taxi rank is definitely how we endeavour to use them into a new way of engaging, participating with each other in the spaces where in taxi ranks you have 65% of the workforce in South Africa on a daily basis twice daily moving backwards and forth. You will find a lot of the people who participate don’t actually engage with each other.
AM: Some people don’t even talk to each other inside the taxi!
SK: Yes, initially it can become one of the most hostile environments where you with people going to the exact same place and you probably have similar desires but you will not talk, discuss or engage.
We saying with Khwela here is an opportunity for commuters to finally engage and gather together in critical mass virtually to discuss everything taxi, queries, complaints, news and anything that it taxi we feel there is a community that wants to express itself and we want to give them that voice.
AM: The taxi industry is very political, brutal and obsolete in thinking and practice, how do you plan on overcoming the challenges especially as a young tech entrepreneur?
SK: What is great about this project is that it really comes from the heart it’s something that I have also been a commuter too.
AM: Do you own any taxis?
SK: I will say I have not owned taxis but I have definitely been a commuter for the greatest part of my life.
AM: What was your worst experience in a taxi?
SK: Actually not really because it really just as you in it you see how everyday the same monotonous way engaging in the same space and anything that doesn’t innovate will die and Khwela is to assist the industry not to hamper it.
AM: To our understanding Khwela is essentially for taxi commuters, how do taxi drivers benefit from this?
SK: Of course, but we chose to begin with the commuters because they are the people that keep the service running without the commuter the service doesn’t have a purpose and we found that it’s the commuter that has a bad experience for something that they have paid for we really endeavoured to give them a sense of power in communicating amongst each other a digital voice which permeates through mediums.
AM: Thank you very much Skhona Khumalo, the Founder of Khwela App, lastly where can the public get contact you?
SK: Thanks, they can follow and contact us on Facebook page or Twitter on Khwela App
Makaring is a leading expert in the Technology and Media industry, he often assists companies and organisations in strategy, leadership consulting and facilitation. His highly disciplined insights have made him a sought after commentary for many media outlets such as CNBC Africa, Power FM and the Republic Mail. He was among the Top 20 finalists of One Day Leader 2017 under 25 by SABC Entrepreneurship Show.