Govt working with taxi associations to halt COVID-19 spread


    JOHANNESBURG – Bree Taxi Rank in Newtown Johannesburg is a hive of activity only two days since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the transmission of the COVID-19 virus has developed to internal transmission along with drastic measures to curb the spread of infection.

    Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said mass education about the novel coronavirus will be provided to commuters as well as increased measures to facilitate hygiene in public transport.

    On Tuesday, these plans are poised to be implemented.

    While no sanitisers have been installed overnight, Transport Department spokesperson Ayanda-Allie Paine stated the minister has met with taxi associations to facilitate cooperation from them to limit the spread of the virus.

    Paine related Mbalula was met with support from Santaco and the provincial department MECs and would be working with these stakeholders to roll out mass education programs from Tuesday.

    Random screening at hot spots will reportedly be implemented later in the week as well as deep cleaning of taxis.

    “There is absolutely no way that Minister Mbalula would be able to penetrate the hustle and bustle of taxi ranks without the support of the taxi associations, the mother body and Santaco at large,” Paine said.

    According to the Transport Department, the taxi associations, provincial government and national government would be working together and sharing resources to facilitate education and hygienic practices in public transport.