Business is booming at Transaction Capital’s SA Taxi. The minibus taxi financier grew gross loans and advances 16% to R7.8bn for the six months to March. Earnings grew 22% to R144m, constituting more than half of group earnings, which increased 21% to R254m. SA Taxi’s loan growth is almost four times larger than was recorded by the big four banks, as well as Capitec and Investec, last year. Banks’ total combined advances grew 4.1% in 2016 to R3.6 trillion. This is the weakest loan growth in five years, says EY, reflective of constrained consumer and business spending, as well as a decline in loans in the rest of Africa. Widespread minibus taxi usage among commuters and an ageing national taxi fleet makes for high demand for taxi finance, says Transaction Capital CEO David Hurwitz. "Minibus taxi transport is a nondiscretionary expense," he says. Transaction Capital estimates that there are more than 15m commuter trips daily by minibus taxi, compared to 9m bus trips and 2m train trips...

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