When the public is not allowed to leave their homes it becomes obvious then that minibus taxis and e-hailing services have no reason to go to work, but Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has moved to emphasize that they should not operate.
“A ‘lockdown is a lockdown’, no taxis or e-hailing services will be allowed to operate during the national 21-day lockdown,” said Mbalula.
South Africans will be expected to isolate at home from Thursday night as the country shuts down to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases of the virus has risen to 705.
Only essential service workers will be allowed to leave their homes and got to work. Essential service workers include supermarket workers, health care workers and various other sectors deemed essential.
Mbalula said no taxis and e-hailing services, including Uber and Bolt, will be permitted to operate. He said his department was working on allowing an afternoon and a morning shift to allow for essential service workers to catch public transport during the lockdown.
“A lockdown is a lockdown. They (buses, taxis, uber and bolt) will not be operating. There will be special arrangements for public transport in terms of taxis. We are looking at allocating time for taxis in the morning and afternoon. During the day, it is a lockdown. Trains we are looking at none at all. Long-distance trains will not be operating. We are looking at intensifying the lockdown in terms of aviation,” he said.
‘Workers who are classified as essential will be permitted to go to work. The time allocation of morning and afternoon public transport caters for them. There will be no transport after the morning time slot has passed,” Mbalula said on Talk Radio 702.
The minister said employers would be expected to generate permits that workers will use to present to law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said that while preference was for people to stay at home, they could jog during the lockdown and also walk their dogs.
“If you go out and jog, it must be for a short distance and no mingling. We do not want to see crowds,” he said.