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Soweto taxi drivers demoralised by limited profit during lockdown

Taxi drivers said they saw no point in working during the 21-day lockdown as regulations that restrict the number of commuters per vehicle mean they won’t make much profit.

FILE: Bara Taxi Rank in Johannesburg. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Some taxi drivers at the Bara taxi rank said they saw no point in working for the next 20 days, if they are not guaranteed to make a profit.

Taxi drivers are not allowed to transport more than seven passengers at a time – in line with the new regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

On Friday officers had to remove commuters from taxis that did not comply with the rule.

Bara City Taxi Association’s Themba Mbetse said they were loading the taxis to capacity because government had not informed them about the new regulations.

“The minister didn’t specify or didn’t talk about the taxi that is loading 15 passengers, on how many they are supposed to [ferry], while trying by all means to comply with the minister’s call not to exceed the number of people that is required.”

But a taxi driver at the taxi rank said he didn’t expect to make any profit for this period.

“Before this corona thing, maximum I am cashing up R700, but today I am cashing up R300 because I had to load my petrol up.”

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said officers will be doing regular spot checks at taxi ranks in the province.

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