Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday said his department had conducted an assessment of measures that were put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus and consulted with the taxi industry on ways to better them.
Mbalula was at the Noord taxi rank in the Johannesburg CBD where he addressing the public on lockdown regulations affecting the taxi industry.
“The consultation process also included relevant structures within government and individual ministers. In consulting with the taxi industry, I have engaged the leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and the National Taxi Alliance (NTA). I must commend the taxi industry for their efforts and commitment to playing their part in enabling mobility of the poor.”
Mbalula met with Santaco on Tuesday after they threatened a nationwide strike over the lockdown regulations.
They were unhappy with the prescribed operating hours and the limit to carry only seven passengers per trip.
During the lockdown period, the following public transport vehicles must reduce the number of maximum passengers to 70% of the licensed capacity, with no masks as follows:— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) April 1, 2020
• A minibus licensed to carry 10 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 7 passengers. pic.twitter.com/O5wwMABGSv
The minister said the measures were all about saving lives and stopping the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
“During the lockdown period, all minibus and midi-bus taxi vehicles are permitted to load their maximum 100% passenger loading capacity as provided for in their operating licenses, provided that all passengers are wearing surgical masks or N95 respiratory masks.”
He said government would supply the taxi industry with those masks.
WATCH: Mbalula visits Noord taxi rank in Joburg