Gaborone — Hawkers are not forbidden to sell at bus ranks.
Speaking during a press briefing in Gaborone on November 30, deputy director of Department of Road, Transport and Safety, Mr Godwin Tlhogo, described as untrue information trending on social media alleging that hawkers were forbidden to sell at bus ranks.
"We wish to state that hawkers are not forbidden to operate at bus ranks. They are, however, not allowed to sell inside buses, as doing so would complicate requirements to maintain a register of all persons who board the bus," he said.
He highlighted that a move to decongest bus ranks followed publishing of a Statutory Notice No, 490 of 2020 in a Government Gazette.
Mr Tlhogo reiterated that his department felt compelled to provide more clarity on those regulations, which included having public transport entering the bus rank for purposes of off-loading and leaving the bus rank immediately.
Furthermore, he said public transport shall enter the bus rank 30 minutes prior to loading times, and not allow hawkers to sell inside the bus.
In addition, he indicated that their discussions with the Botswana Bus Operators Association led to a unanimous decision to deter loaders at bus ranks.
Meanwhile, Gaborone City Council's law enforcement superintendent, Mr Thapelo Ngiye, said efforts were underway to bring unprecedented developments to Gaborone bus rank in-line with enforcing health protocols.
He enlisted demarcation of spaces for hawkers in view of creating the much needed social distancing at bus ranks.
He further demonstrated that future plans included enclosing bus ranks and introducing regulated entry with quality control.
Mr Ngiye underlined that they were aware of buses queuing in street corners since the new developments were announced.
He, however, indicated that plans were ongoing to work with Department of Physical Planning to devise future plans of setting parking bays for public transport.