South Africa: Passengers At Risk of COVID-19 As Taxi Operators Violate Lockdown Regulations

analysis

On Monday, the taxi association Santaco was loading passengers at 100% capacity in defiance of Level 3 regulations.

"I have no choice. I can either board the full taxi and risk contracting the coronavirus, or not do so and get fired from work if I don't arrive on time. I would rather stick with the former situation."

This was said by Leslie Baloyi, who commutes between Soweto and Johannesburg.

Baloyi's comments came as many commuters grappled with the same dilemma.

This tough choice arose after the taxi industry announced that from Monday 29 June it would load passengers at 100% capacity and resume interprovincial travel with no travel permits for passengers.

The decision was taken by the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco). It came after the industry voiced its dissatisfaction at the amount of cash offered to the industry by Roads and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula as Covid-19 relief. Mbalula offered the taxi industry just over R1.1-billion, which the industry rejected.

The taxi industry argued that the amount equates to R5,000 per taxi, while they were looking at R20,000 per taxi. They argued that they have been operating at 70% and that this had hurt their businesses as they...

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