In a move to fight against the spread of the covid-19 virus, on Monday, transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced a number of measures that the government would introduce to the local commuter industry.
According to Times Live Mbalula said: “The taxi industry transports more than 16 million people and represents a critical sector, which must be at the forefront of robust interventions and awareness to manage the risks.
“We will implement an aggressive information drive to create awareness and promote preventive measures. Taxi and bus operators must become ambassadors whose task it is to disseminate information.”
Mbalula announced a five-point plan to be introduced immediately. It included:
- Heightened awareness and educational campaigns targeted at commuters.
- Sanitation of surfaces in trains, buses and taxis after every trip and, where applicable, each e-hailing passenger journey.
- Provision of hand sanitizers at key points and encouraging public transport operators to provide sanitisers to commuters.
- Regular intensive cleaning and sanitisation of major stations and key points of embarkation and commuter handling facilities.
- Practical screening facilities that will target train stations, such as Park Station, Durban Station, Cape Town Station, Port Elizabeth Station, Bloemfontein Station and Pretoria Station.
On Friday, the Rep went to observe people at the Komani intermodal taxi rank. Commuters at the rank said everything “normal” and that they had felt no immediate danger from the virus.
Taxi driver, Aphiwe Xakeka said no one had spoken to them about anything: “I have read some things on social media but other than that it is business as usual. We have not received any masks or sanitisers.