Mbalula hints at lockdown looming for taxis, buses and trains

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula spoke about how the lockdown would affect buses, trains and taxis.
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula provided some insight on Wednesday into how the looming lockdown would affect public transport in the country.

He said it was envisaged that Covid-19 would be allowed to operate for a limited time during morning and afternoon peak hours to ferry people authorised to move around,  such as essential-services personnel.

“A lockdown is a lockdown … There will be special catering for public transport, we will deal with the details later on in terms of taxis. We’re looking at allocating time for the operation of taxis in the morning peak and in the afternoon. During the day it will be lockdown,” he said in an interview with Radio 702.

“Trains, we’re looking at not operating at all. Long distance has been shut down in terms of Shosholoza Meyl … We are looking at intensifying in the aviation sector that airlines from affected countries should not come to South Africa.”

Essential-services workers would be allowed to use public transport during peak hours, provided they could produce proof about their work. All employers would be expected to generate special permits for workers who provided a recognised essential service.

The e-hailing industry, such and Uber and Bolt, would not be permitted to operate, along with metered taxis.

Mbalula was expected to provide further details later on Wednesday.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said earlier on Wednesday that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 had increased to 709 overnight.

This was an increase of 155 cases from Tuesday’s 554.




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