The role of small hauliers within the transportation industry.
Majozi, Zamaqamu Carol.
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There is very limited information that is available on small haulage and the role that it plays in the communities that embark on it. For this reason it was necessary to compile a directory of all the accessible small hauliers and the services that they provide. The research presented here explores the role of small haulage as both an employment and income generating venture. The study was conducted in three geographic locations that range in scale, sophistication and location along a transect form city (Pietermaritzburg) to town ( Greytown) to rural service center (Maphumulo). Larger and more formal haulage is characteristic of Pietermaritzburg as opposed to both Maphumulo and Greytown where small haulage is prevalent. Data was collected using a quantitative questionnaire, which included both open and closed ended questions. 148 small hauliers were interviewed for the study and their ages range from 22 to 65 years. The majority of these small businesses are self-funded because they have been refused financial assistance by formal financial institutions. Most financial institutions do not have policies governing financial support for small enterpreuners. Some are not aware of support systems made available by the government to assist small businesses. The majority of these businesses operate with one vehicle, either from home or from a highly accessible area like a busy street where there is greater need for their service. The small hauliers in Greytown and Maphumulo operated from loading zones similar to the ones found in the taxi industry. Besides hauling goods they also compete with the taxi industry for passengers to supplement their incomes and as a response to the greater needs for passenger transportation in these areas. The businesses are locality bound, rely on local skills and markets and serve the communities that they are based in. They are owner managed, very informal, not registered and lack the business support and skills necessary for their long term survival, are threatened by bigger hauliers. The small hauliers embarked on them out of poverty and in the absence of any other source of livelihood. The biggest challenge is to prepare and develop these types of small businesses for incorporation into the bigger and formal haulage sector by providing them with a highly accessible support base and the necessary business running skills to ensure their long-term survival. There is also a need to incorporate women more in these types income-generating ventures.