Lockdown rules eased for taxi industry

JOHANNESBURG - Government has reduced the maximum number of passengers allowed on public transport.

This will be applicable throughout the lockdown period.

Public transport operators have also been advised to sanitise their vehicles.

READ: Taxi drivers concerned over lockdown

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula addressed crowds at Noord taxi rank.

"Public transport remains one of our biggest risk areas in the spread of the virus," he said.

"We must, therefore, do everything in our power to protect both the citizens who rely on public transport and those who operate the system from exposure and possible infection."

READ: Taxi sector shifts gears to combat virus

The minister commended the taxi industry for their efforts and commitment to providing transportation services to the people of South Africa in these trying times.

After an assessment of the measures imposed on the transport industry and consultation with the taxi industry, the Department of Transport has announced some revisions to the control measures they have implemented.

The minister announced the following amendments to their previous measures: 

During the lockdown period, the following public transport vehicles must reduce the number of maximum passengers to 70 percent of the licensed capacity, with no masks as follows:

• A minibus licensed to carry 10 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 7 passengers.
• A minibus licensed to carry 15 passengers, is limited to carry the maximum of 10 passengers.
• A midi-bus permitted to carry a maximum of 22 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 15 passengers
• A vehicle licensed to carry a maximum of 4 passengers is limited to carrying 50% of its permissible passenger carrying capacity.

During the lockdown period, all minibus and midi-bus taxi vehicles are permitted to load their maximum 100 percent passenger loading capacity as provided for in their operating licenses, provided that all passengers are wearing masks. The masks must be of the following categories:
(a) Surgical masks
(b) N95 respiratory masks


The sanitisation measures and recommendations regarding social distancing are still in place.

Mbalula announced the government would be assisting taxi operators with masks and sanitising equipment, even after the lockdown has been lifted.

READ: National taxi strike averted

The minister promised to give priority to the National Taxi Indaba after the lockdown period, and to tackle pressing issues facing the industry.
"We have no doubt that the Taxi Indaba will emerge with a blueprint of an industry that is at peace with itself, able to sustain itself beyond government incentives and subject to the rule of law," Mbalula said.

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