By: Tebogo Mokwena
Born and raised by parents operating in the transport sector, Calvin Ntlatlana and his sister Gopolang Makgotho carved out their own identity in the sector. The experience and skills they learned from their parents’ business propelled them to start their own transport business, Calvino’s Shuttle Services. According to Makgotho, who is the company’s managing director, the shuttle service started in 2020 in Sekhukhune, Limpopo.
The company provides shuttle services and tours in different parts of the country and other African countries like Mozambique. It has three permanent employees and one part-time employee. Makgotho said that she grew up watching her parents run a taxi business and she learned a lot from her observations. Her parents started their business in 1978, and when her father died in 2006, her mother continued with the business to this day. “My father was a petrol attendant and my mother was a cleaner, and they both saved and used their savings to start the business,” she said.
“I wasn’t fully involved in the business as a child, and I am in fact the only one among my siblings that worked for the government. “All of my brothers worked for the business from a very young age and still work for it today,” Makgotho said that she learned how to provide for one’s family through the business and how it in turn provided for them. Makgotho said that while the company owned three cars and a bus, it had not been easy getting there. “We started with no money and worked our way up,” she said.
She also said that she learned to be gracious when dealing with customers. “My parents taught me never to overcharge a customer, and so I apply that by accommodating people,” she said. “We experience a lot of challenges with the customers that we work with, but we remain professional in our conduct and ensure that we provide excellent customer service.” Makgotho hopes that through the business, she can teach many young people how to improve themselves.
“Our people are afraid of growth and think that getting a job is the only way to earn an income,” she said. “We should strive to learn new things, open businesses, and be accountable for our own country,” Makgotho said that their biggest achievement was the customer service they provided. “Without the customer service, we would not be able to be where we are and grow at the pace that we are growing,” she said. “Our dream is to grow to the point where we can open branches nationwide and create more jobs for people.”