Thu, 28 May 2020

The 21-day lockdown imposed on South Africa to minimise the spread of Covid-19 has seen tens of taxi drivers flouting the new regulations.

On Friday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced since the lockdown, the following offences were recorded:

Two drivers failed to sanitise their vehicles after off-loading passengers.Ten drivers failed to wear masks.Two operators attempted long-distance or inter-provincial travel.One driver was caught trying to operate outside the permitted hours.Thirty-two e-hailing providers were caught carrying more passengers than permitted.Fifty-six minibus drivers failed to observe the maximum limit on passengers.Two operators attempted to provide cross-border passenger transport.

Mbalula said as of Friday, the grace period for social grants had come to an end and operating hours would return to the morning and afternoon peak times.

He added from 04:00 to 05:00, empty taxis were permitted on the road solely to pick up commuters. From 05:00-10:00 they are permitted to ferry commuters at a 70% licensed capacity.

During the 10:00 to 11:00 period, all outstanding commuters must be dropped off and taxis parked. They are permitted back on the roads between 15:00 and 16:00 solely to pick up commuters.

Taxis are allowed to ferry commuters at a 70% load capacity between 16:00 and 20:00. Between 20:00 and 21:00, all outstanding commuters must be dropped off and taxis parked.

Mbalula reiterated the law would deal decisively with those who disregarded the regulations and as a result possibly expose others to the virus.

"Our law enforcement officers must enforce the law without fear or favour and adopt a no-nonsense approach towards those who continue to place the lives of others in harm's way," he said.

As of Friday, South Africa has 1 505 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and seven deaths.

The lockdown is expected to last until 16 April.

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