Public transport operating hours relaxed for social grant beneficiaries

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Minister of Police, Fikile Mbabula
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula will relax the public transport operating hours for a week to cater for the needs of society’s most vulnerable and to allow social grant recipients time to collect their grants, his office said on Sunday.

“Effective from Monday 30 March 2020 until Friday 3 April 2020, buses and taxis will be permitted to operate from 5am until 8pm in order to cater to the transportation needs of society’s most vulnerable. The exercise of social distance by all those using public transport must be observed and enforced. We will issue further directions in this regard,” his office said.

“Grant recipients are required to carry their Identity Documents and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) cards when travelling on public transport, to assist law enforcement efforts.”

His office said that after the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the days social grants would be paid, a number of stakeholders, including Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu to made representations on the relaxation of hours public transport vehicles were allowed to operate.

“Having considered Minister Zulu’s request and representations made by various industry bodies, including the taxi industry, I have decided to amend the Public Transport Directions in order to accommodate grant beneficiaries. ”

On Saturday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that South Africa’s confirmed Covid-19 cases increased by 17 and

was at 1187.

“We must outrightly state that these numbers do not indicate a reduction in the number of infections. It is merely a reflection of positive results that were received, verified and ready for today’s reporting,” Mkhize said in a statement.

Gauteng has 533 confirmed cases, Western Cape has 271, KwaZulu-Natal has 156, 68 cases in the Free State, Limpopo has 11, Mpumalanga has 10 confirmed cases, North West has six and there are five cases in Northern Cape. Mkhize said 117 were unallocated.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown from midnight on Thursday until midnight on April 16.

In an address broadcast live on television, Ramaphosa said all people in South Africa would be compelled to stay at home, save for essential services such as health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel and those in security services such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers.

African News Agency