Fikile Mbalula on loading capacity‚ hygiene and air circulation
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula gave an update on amended regulations under alert level 3 of lockdown‚ during an economic cluster press briefing on Thursday.
Here are some critical points from his address:
“All public transport vehicle windows must be kept 5cm open on both sides. All public transport vehicles must be fitted with window blockers to keep the windows five centimetres open.”
“Operators must ensure that all public vehicle doors‚ window handles‚ arm rests and handrails are sanitised after every load. Passengers must be encouraged to sanitise after they enter the vehicle and after getting off the vehicle.”
“Banks will also in due course communicate their decisions to the borrowers and the public in this regard on their Covid-19-related relief measures. Over the last few weeks‚ we have been engaging in intense discussions with the taxi industry on the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the significant losses the industry continues to incur.”
Government is open to engaging further
“We engaged with the taxi industry in good faith and we found each other on many areas but there are areas where we differed‚ however the door remains open for further engagements on issues where we are not in agreement. We have always understood this engagement as cordial and not characterised by the high flare of emotions as our tackling of Covid-19 is not a one-man show.”
“To this end‚ bus‚ taxi and e-hailing‚ meter taxis‚ shuttle services‚ chauffeur-driven vehicles and scholar transport vehicles are permitted to carry 100% of licensed carry capacity for any trip not regarded as long distance travel. Long distance refers to any trip that is 200km or longer.”
“We’re all enjoined in the obligation to arrest the spread of the virus to preserve human life. Government will therefore not tolerate conduct that places the lives of public transport users at risk. The violation of the regulations we’re issuing today is a criminal offence and law enforcement authorities will act without fear or favour.”
“The taxi industry is not subsidised‚ as a result they are double hit in terms of Covid-19. They are owing banks‚ they are indebted and they are not covered in terms of relief means that we have presented to the nation.”
Source: ARENA Holdings.