Mbalula: COVID-19 affected already battling transport, logistics sectors

Briefing MPs on Thursday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that the effects of the pandemic would continue to be experienced by operators in the transport and logistics industries in the short to medium term.

FILE: Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula inspecting a Metrorail train's readiness to operate during COVID lockdown on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that the COVID-19 pandemic came at a time when economic activity in the transport, storage and logistics industries was already on a downward slide, since 2016.

On Thursday, Mbalula briefed members of Parliament (MPs) on mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transport industry.

He said that the effects of the pandemic would continue to be experienced by operators in the transport and logistics industries in the short to medium term.

READ: Transport operators will continue to feel effects of COVID-19 - Mbalula

The Transport minister said that the transport sector would have to face the reality of lower numbers of commuters with the constant risk that came with the coronavirus.

He said that the demand for air travel would remain low until tourism picked up.

It's estimated that it could take up to two years before operations got back to normal as it was expected that passengers would be reluctant to fly initially, because of stringent health safety rules.

Mbalula said that in aviation there was a great need to ramp up domestic travel and build confidence that the system was able to function safely.

He said that international travel with countries that were low risk must be gradually reintroduced.

The minister said that in public transport, apart from aggressively investing in the taxi economy, a cashless fare system must be introduced.

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