- Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has rescinded his decision to allow minibus taxis to carry a full load of passengers during the current lockdown
- The minibus taxis are now allowed to only apply the 70% loading capacity
- There was a huge public outcry after Mbalula announced regulations that allowed 100% loading capacity for minibus taxis
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has rescinded his decision allowing minibus taxis to carry a full load of passengers with immediate effect.
Mbalula has on Thursday somersaulted on his earlier decision and stated that his ministry will now only apply the 70% loading capacity for minibus taxis during the current national lockdown.
Mbalula had announced on Wednesday that during the 21-day lockdown period, all minibus and midi-bus taxi vehicles were permitted to load their maximum 100% passenger loading capacity as provided for in their operating licenses, provided that all passengers were wearing surgical and N95 respiratory masks.
"After our announcement of catering for 100%, there was a public outcry about the impact of such an arrangement to the health safety of public transport users. We took these issues serious and engaged with key stakeholders resulting in a consensus of maximising the loading capacity to 70%."
The department has urged taxi operators and public transport users to take preventative measures to mitigate against the spread of the virus.
"Government will undertake a programme to assist with the distribution of the masks. We also urge operators to continue to sanitise the taxi surfaces and to provide hand sanitisers to the public."
Briefly.co.za has reported that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday announced that there were currently 1 380 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa.
The minister was speaking during the launch of 60 specialised testing units, which will be deployed across the country in a bid to limit the spread of the virus.
Five citizens have succumbed to the virus.
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