Avoid long distance taxi travel during lockdown, says Parliament’s transport committee

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Cape Town – Parliament’s transport portfolio committee chairman Mosebenzi Zwane has called on the minibus taxi leadership in the taxi industry to work with government in enforcing the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown regulations, and raised the possibility of operating permits being confiscated for the duration of the lockdown period.

It was concerning that a number of minibus taxis from the Western Cape continued to travel long-distance despite clear communication and guidance from government for everyone to stay at home, he said in a statement.

“The committee wishes to reiterate government’s call that people should stay at home. The need to travel around this time, as is custom every Easter weekend, is understandable but not possible at this time. The priority for all sectors should be to flatten the curve of infections.”

“Throngs” of minibus taxis from Cape Town were stopped in the Karoo town of Aberdeen on the border with the Eastern Cape. On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension to the lockdown.

Zwane said saving people’s lives should be the priority no matter what “urgent business exists in the Eastern Cape”.

“The president reiterated the importance of staying at home, and results were evident as the country saw a decline in the number of positive tests than when the lockdown began,” he said.

If compliance with the lockdown rules meant confiscating operating permits, that should be done for the duration of the lockdown period.

“Government has availed a relief fund for the taxi industry. This situation is only a temporary measure and leaders in the industry need to enhance government’s message. To beat the Covid-19 infection rate, people need to stay at home and restrict movement,” Zwane said.

African News Agency (ANA)

By ANA Reporter

Credit: www.iol.co.za

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