Taxi associations doing their

Joubert Park Taxi Rank

Photo: Twitter

Taxi associations doing their part despite coronavirus confusion

Taxi Associations say they are waiting to find out how they will be assisted by government when their customers are under lockdown.

Taxi associations doing their

Joubert Park Taxi Rank

Photo: Twitter

Taxi associations around the country are concerned about what the nationwide lockdown, to come into effect from Friday, will mean for them. 

Taxis are still operating and transporting millions of people to and from work, but now are feeling like they are unclear about what their role will be when people are instructed to stay home.

They have had to undergo strict sanitation protocols as prescribed by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. 

Sanitation in taxis

Following the announcement that the country would be placed under a state of disaster, Mbalula promised to provide taxi drivers and ranks with hand sanitiser and roll out screening procedures where taxis would be stopped and checked to ensure that they are keeping up with hygiene protocols. 

That has been happening, but now that South Africa is set to enter a period of lockdown, taxi drivers and their associations are less clear on what is expected of them and how they will be assisted financially. 

Government planned to meet the taxi operators halfway with the costs of the materials they were using and had set up a national command to decide on the budgetary issues.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) hopes for more clarity from Mbalula, around its concerns.

“Issues around financing the repayment of taxis, payment of drivers, queue marshals,” Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa. 

“Even the operator who is a businessman where a taxi is his or her only livelihood. Those are issues we want responses to and we want to deal with. We hope that the minister will give us time to attend to them.”

Education in KZN

Meanwhile in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), local taxi associations handed over 130 hand sanitisers to taxi drivers at the KwaDukuza and Mandeni taxi ranks

The associations are getting serious about the threat of spreading coronavirus, and have taken it upon themselves to educate drivers and commuters about safe hygienic practies. 

Santaco chairperson in the iLembe region, Bongani Mkhwanazi said they would visit the other ranks within the region.

“We felt it was important to do what we can do to keep the taxis clean but, most importantly, educate the drivers and passengers. We gave the drivers the sanitizers and educated them about the virus, each association is now responsible to continue with what we started today,” said Mkhwanazi.

The association has partnered with the iLembe municipality, with mayor Siduduzo Gumede saying they partnered with Santaco because it was important to empower commuters, drivers and vendors with knowledge.

“Joining them in the campaign were the health department, other sector departments, civil society as well as the business community, represented by the iLembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism,” said Gumede.