COVID-19: Transport entities comply with safety measures
After the President’s pronouncement and a decision by Transport MINMEC, it was critical that all of us play our part in limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.
The transport industry will be the hardest hit by COVID-19 if we don’t do something to protect the commuters.
I engaged transport entities from as early as Monday to discuss prevention measures and what each one will do to protect our commuters who are vulnerable.
Immediately after the national disaster declaration of COVID-19 outbreak, I met with the management of Golden Arrow Bus Services on Monday and they presented plans to contain the spread of the virus in their busses. I then visited the Cape Town Bus Terminus on Wednesday to witness the implementation of the programme.
Each and every passenger who disembarks a bus is hand sanitized, and the bus gets sanitized immediately afterwards. Drivers are also provided with masks and gloves.
What I saw at Golden Arrow Bus Services is a clear demonstration of what all transport modes are required to do.
I also visited the Cape Town International Airport where ACSA management presented safety measures at the airport.
Some of the safety measures have been put in place. Work is in progress. Staff members are wearing masks, there are sanitizers everywhere and the airport is working very close with the Department of Health and are receiving regular updates on what needs to be done. The airport is also distributing pamphlets so that incoming travellers are aware of our COVID-19 requirements.
Today I met with the mini-bus taxi industry and I am pleased with their commitment to comply and implement safety measures to protect our commuters.
The taxi industry agreed to undertake safety measures as from Monday 23 March and I will be joining them during a demonstration at local taxi ranks.
The taxi industry agreed to the following measures:
- Taxi ranks to be cleaned and sanitized twice a day (early morning and evenings)
- Queue marshals and rank officials to wear masks
- Commuters hands will be sanitized prior entering the taxi or while standing in the queue at big ranks and interchanges
- Printed brochures will be issued to commuters
- Overloading will be discouraged
- Stigmatization will be discouraged
It will take a collective effort for us to contain the virus. We have a certain responsibility as government and our partners in the transport industry also have a responsibility. But more importantly, the passengers must heed the call and do their part. If we can all play our part, I am confident we will contain the spread of the virus.
I am making arrangements to meet Prasa and the e-hailing industry to discuss the implementation of safety measures in trains and metered taxis.