News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
1 Jun 2020
1:15 pm

Taxi operators welcome move to Level 3

News24 Wire

As Level 3 of the lockdown opened up, more people have been going to work and public transport has been getting busier.

Commuters are seen at the Bara Taxi Rank in Soweto, 23 April 2020, during a joint patrol by the SANDF, SAPS and JMPD, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Picture: Michel Bega

Taxi operators at the Bara taxi rank in Soweto say the move to Level 3 of the lockdown will mean more money in their pockets.

The operators said this had led to more people boarding taxis than in the previous two months.

“It is not bad at all. Previously, by 08:00, our taxis would be back from various destinations, waiting here for people to come. Today, there we are transporting more people.

“At least owners will have something in their pockets today. We wish this must continue daily, as we are facing financial challenges with debts to settle. Since the lockdown was introduced, we haven’t been making what we used to,” taxi marshall Mashu Sithole told News24.

Bara City spokesperson Sibusiso Mweli said their only challenge now was taxis operating on long-distance routes.

“Our local routes are operating as normal, with little improvements.

“We hope that, when many people return to work, maybe we will have more queues. We suspect that more people are using buses to go to work. Maybe, when time goes, then we will expect more passengers.

“We think that we will make some money today going forward,” said Mweli.

According to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula the taxi industry is one of those hardest hit financially during lockdown.

Mbalula earlier said the industry had financially affected because taxis were expected to carry a limited number of passengers to prevent Covid-19 from spreading, as well as adhering to other strict regulations.

He also promised that government would provide financial relief to operators countrywide.

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