Using public transport without a mask is against the law – Mbalula

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula PHOTO: JACQUES NELLES

People who are not wearing masks will not be allowed to make use of public transport by law for the foreseeable future.

This is according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula who was speaking at a media briefing on the updated Covid-19 lockdown regulations and directives related to transport under level 4.

“We call on the pubic to ensure strict adherence to this requirement by obtaining their own face masks in line with the guidance given by Minister Dlamini-Zuma. While government may provide limited assistance in ensuring availability of masks, the onus rests on each individual to ensure that they do not leave home without a mask.”

Additionally, the department has revised operating hours for taxis to accommodate those who will now be returning to work in addition to allowing drivers enough time to wrap up their work and return to their homes before the 8pm curfew.

“All road-based public transport services are permitted to operate from 05h00 until 19h00, with a grace period of 1 hour in the afternoon to complete their trips and drop off passengers. This includes minibus-taxis, buses, metered taxis, e-hailing services, charter and shuttle services.”

Loading capacity for minibus-taxis remains at 70% of licensed passengers, with social distancing and other mitigating measures remaining in place.

“We know for a fact that there are those who have been cutting corners and undermining this principle,” added the minister before thanking those who have continued to adhere to the rules.

Mbalula also called on passengers who are strong-armed into paying an extra fare to cover the 30% of passengers who cannot use the taxi to report drivers and operators to authorities.

Kaunda Selisho/The Citizen