News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
24 Mar 2020
5:41 pm

Taxi union to use skeleton staff to transport essential workers

News24 Wire

'Everybody is this country is directly or indirectly affected and we need each other going forward. We call on taxi operators to listen to their leaders during the lockdown.'

Jacob Maphanga sanitizes a taxi driver's hands at Wanderers taxi rank during the South African Taxi Council's demonstration of the taxi industry's plans to contain the spread of coronavirus in taxi ranks countrywide, Johannesburg, 19 March 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) will us a skeleton staff to continue transporting passengers performing essential services during the 21-day lockdown to and from their workplaces.

Santaco’s secretary-general, Ralph Jones, said it was ready to continue with its work, but with skeleton staff.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night the country would be on lockdown from 26 March.

Jones said: “People need to go to work. Many of those who fall under the essential services category are relying on us for transport. We are going to transport them [or] they will be stuck at home while the country needs them.

“As Santaco, we respect the president and his decision to safeguard our country from the coronavirus spreading further. We are also expected to participate during the lockdown.”

Joes said Santaco would abide with Ramaphosa’s instructions.

“We will never go against his words. People’s lives are at stake and nurses are expected to attend to the sick and those infected and they need us to take them to work.

“Everybody is this country is directly or indirectly affected and we need each other going forward. We call on taxi operators to listen to their leaders during the lockdown.”

Jones said Santaco was waiting on a meeting with senior government officials, including Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, on how it would be expected to operate during the lockdown.

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