Transport department provides 1,200, with more to follow
The department of transport provided 1,200 air ventilators on Monday for Chris Hani taxis, to minimise the spread of Covid-19 among public transport commuters.
Queenstown Uncedo Service Taxi Association (Qusta) chair Sandi Mgobo welcomed the gesture from the department, which he said had responded to the safety needs of passengers.
Mgobo, who was speaking during the first roll-out in the region at the Boxer taxi rank, said: “This imitative followed after the government learnt that the virus was more prone to spread in closed environments without air circulation.”
The chair, who began fitting the ventilators on the windows of the minibuses with the assistance of a team of taxi operators, said the department’s intervention was not the cure, but a useful measure to protect people from Covid infections.
“The ventilators allow windows to be slightly closed but leave enough space for the air to circulate inside the vehicle. This is the first batch of ventilators as Chris Hani has more than 1,200 taxis in Komani alone.”
He said more ventilators would be distributed to taxis in the region at a later stage.
He said Qusta had agreed with the government and other branch chairs of the taxi association that the first roll-out would target Komani as the biggest branch in Chris Hani.
“The next roll-out will be in other towns, according to the number of members and taxis.”
He was grateful to the government for opting not to decrease the number of passengers this time, thereby permitting 100% per load compared with last year’s 70% of capacity, which resulted in a financial burden to the industry.
As a way of showing appreciation to the government, the chair said taxi operators vowed to carry passengers with dignity under stringent Covid-19 regulations, to protect the safety of the community members.
“The ventilators will protect the driver, passengers and their families. Thank you for showing care to our customers and being willing to forge good relations with the industry,” he said.