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Mbalula: Taxi industry not fully complying with lockdown regulations

The minister visited taxi ranks on Thursday morning to assess whether those employed in the sector are adhering to the law.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula addresses members of the Gauteng traffic police, taxi associations and commuters outside the MTN Noord taxi rank on 1 April 2020. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has conceded the taxi industry was not fully complying with the lockdown regulations.

Speaking on Radio702 on Thursday, the minister said his decision to limit loading capacity in taxis to 70% was final.

Mbalula has come under fire on social media, for his about-turn on how many people may be transported in a taxi at a time, with many warning the measures don't go far enough to ensure social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The minister visited taxi ranks on Thursday morning to assess whether those employed in the sector are adhering to the law.

“As much as all those things are happening, we need to tighten the grid and do much more, so it is much more easier that what is happening now and learn from other countries.”

The minister said it seemed it was business as usual for some taxi drivers.

“People don’t obey; it’s not that they are malicious but you can see that they don’t see the danger. The only thing that can make them move is if their parents, friends or neighbour dies. For now, it’s still far from reality for them. They don’t see it coming.”

The department has committed to providing hand sanitisers to the taxi industry, which continues to transport thousands of essential service workers during the lockdown.

WATCH: Commuters to wear masks in taxis with full capacity

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