Govt amends transport regulations for level 4 lockdown

In the rules gazetted on Monday, cars were allowed on the roads until 9 pm to complete a trip but on Wednesday, the Department of Transport changed the cut off time to 7 pm.

FILE: Police and traffic officials at a roadblock during the SA lockdown, which is in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Government has changed the regulations governing the movement of cars during level 4 lockdown.

In the rules gazetted on Monday, cars were allowed on the roads until 9 pm to complete a trip but on Wednesday, the Department of Transport changed the cut off time to 7 pm.

Government has not given a reason for the stricter curfew.

The amended rules also stipulate that only vehicles transporting essential workers were allowed outside these times provided they have the necessary permits and have arranged this with their employers.

The regulations published on Monday allowed motorists to be on the roads until 8 pm with a grace period of an hour to complete their trips.

The other rules remain the same with motorists and passengers obligated to wear masks during their journeys.

These rules are in place for the duration of level 4 lockdown.

TAXI ASSOCIATIONS SLAM NEW REGULATIONS

Meanwhile, the taxi industry is not happy with the department’s latest regulations on the movement of vehicles.

Thursday marks the end of the grace period under which citizens are allowed to travel back to their home or work provinces.

President of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) Phillip Taaibosch said the decision to cut back on the operating time for drivers on the roads to 7 pm would have an impact on commuters who needed to travel great distances to get home from work.

Taaibosch said this matter would be taken up with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s office.

“Even 8 pm was very inconvenient for us. Now the 7 pm time will not work for the taxi drivers,” Taaibosch said.

At the same time, the National Taxi Alliance’s (NTA) spokesperson Theo Malele said the shorter operating time would affect business even further.

“It’s been affecting our pockets and two hours is better than the long hours that we endured during level 5, it’s about saving lives,” he said.

Malele said talks were under way to find ways to compensate the taxi industry for the loss of income suffered due to the strict regulations to stop the spread of COVID-19.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.