Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced on Monday morning at the department’s briefing to table plans against the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic that random screening measures would be applied to all taxi ranks and trains, and both modes of transport would have to undergo regular sanitisation.
The Cross Border Road Transport Agency will work together with border and health authorities to ensure screening of truck drivers at all inland borders.
In noting that the taxi industry was a critical sector that needed urgent intervention, Mbalula said the department would implement an aggressive information drive to create awareness.
The minister also carved out elements in the government’s five-point plan to combat the pandemic.
- Heightened awareness and educational campaigns will be targeted at commuters
- Sanitation of surfaces in trains, buses and taxis after every trip
- Provision of hand sanitisers at key points as well as encouraging public transport operators to provide sanitisers to commuters
- Practical screening facilities will be provided to targeted train stations such as Park Station, Durban Station, Cape Town Station, Port Elizabeth Station, Bloemfontein Station as well as Pretoria Station.
- A regular process of intensive cleaning and sanitisation of major stations and key points.
Mbalula’s briefing comes after former DA leader Mmusi Maimane asked a potent question regarding the transport department’s efforts to cater to the thousands of commuters that could huddle together during peak hour traffic periods at taxi ranks.
Mr Fix @MbalulaFikile can you provide us with critical clarity around trains and taxi ranks.
As you are aware Bree taxi rank in Johannesburg for example will have 100s of people in the peak traffic periods. The same is true of the train stations and the trains. #CoronaVirusSA
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) March 15, 2020