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Mbalula ‘concerned’ about taxis, trains as SA gears up for level 3 lockdown

The minister said trains and buses would start operating and interprovincial taxi and bus travel would also be allowed for essential workers under level 3 lockdown.

FILE: Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday said he was still concerned by poor compliance by the taxi industry with many drivers still not wearing masks.

As the country heads towards level 3 lockdown next week, Mbalula said trains and buses would start operating and interprovincial taxi and bus travel would also be allowed for essential workers.

But he was still not satisfied with the level of readiness at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

Mbalula said with trains and buses expected to start operating under level 3, safety would now be compromised.

“We’ve got no choice; otherwise it’s going to be ‘omunye-phezu-komunye' [one on top of the other], we will be opening for transmission to happen through trains. We are bound to open for limited service and to determine in operational terms how that is going to unfold,” he said.

But Mbalula was still concerned as well about taxis.

“Taxi drivers don’t wear masks. We keep saying 70% [passenger capacity] but not all taxis comply,” Mbalula said.

The minister appealed to South Africans to take individual responsibility by ensuring they do not transmit COVID-19

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