Article by: Natalie Müller
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula alongside Gauteng Transport and Gauteng Health prov Gov have launched a drive to test taxi drivers and cue marshals for the Covid-19 infection and other underlying conditions.
Mbalula, in partnership with Gauteng MECs, on Tuesday launched the testing and screening drive for the taxi industry at the Kopanong rank in Ivory Park.
Passengers in the taxi must sign a register for contact tracing. Mbalula confirmed that Masks, social distancing, sanitisers are still a mandatory requirement
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday that screening and testing for Covid-19 will now be a norm at taxi ranks across the nation.
“We are now at a stage where we are easing the lockdown and are embracing what we call ‘the new normal’, which includes wearing masks everywhere you go. This is the new way of life we are going to undertake,” Mbalula said.
From the morning, the testing of hundreds of taxi drivers and queue marshals transpired as they were introduced to the new way of conducting trips with passengers and prerequisites of transportation going forward.
Mbalula said, not only are they testing for Coronavirus but they are also focusing on testing for other underlying medical conditions.
This drive requires taxi drivers and marshals to test for Covid and underlying conditions.
They confirmed that it will now be required that all passengers in the taxi must sign a register when they get in for contact tracing.
Mbalula said the government is making the necessary modalities to support the taxi industry with relief. He said announcements will be made in the coming weeks on the way forward.
“When coronavirus arrived in SA, I was on a journey and I am still on that journey, engaging with the industry to address issues of professionalising the industry. As a hard-hit industry, the government is now dealing with how much assistance it will provide. In principle we have agreed to support the taxi industry financially,” he said.
Mbalula said since the movement to lockdown level four, the transport department has undertaken a risk assessment on the state of readiness of driving licence testing centres, registering authorities and vehicle testing stations.