Taxi drivers face jail time if passengers do not wear face masks

 

Public transport operators and drivers risk arrest and prosecution if their passengers do not wear face masks. File photo.
Image: Lebohang Mashiloane

Public transport drivers and operators allowing commuters into their vehicles without a face mask can be prosecuted and jailed for up to six months, be fined, or both.

That’s according to new lockdown regulations published overnight and signed by co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The regulations were gazetted shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday evening about the coronavirus pandemic.

“A driver, owner or operator of public transport may not allow any member of the public not wearing a cloth face mask, homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth, to board or be conveyed in public transport owned or operated by him or her,” according to the regulations.

The same rules around the wearing of cloth face masks apply to building owners, managers, employers and school principals.

​“A manager or owner of a building, place or premises, including a government building place or premises, used by the public to obtain goods or services who fails to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with regulation commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

“A principal of a school, or manager or owner of an early childhood development centre, who fails to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with regulation 5(3)(c) or (e) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

The regulations also spelt out revised rules for public transport: “Bus and taxi services may operate under the following conditions: May not carry more than 70% of the licensed capacity for long distance intra-provincial and permitted inter provincial travel; and may carry 100% of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long distance travel in terms of the sub-regulation,” stated the gazette.

By Kgaugelo Masweneng TimesLIVE

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