Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has rescinded the directions allowing 100% loading capacity for taxis with immediate effect.
The decision follows concerns raised about the 100% loading capacity and the utilisation of masks as a mitigation measure.
“The public was without comfort with these measures and urged that we reconsider. After our announcement of catering for 100% [loading capacity], there was a public outcry about the impact of such an arrangement to the health safety of public transport users.
“We took these issues seriously and engaged with key stakeholders, resulting in a consensus of maximising the loading capacity to 70%,” the Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Thursday.
The regulations for the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown prescribed a 50% loading capacity.
“The unintended consequence of this reduction was an industry operating at a loss as a result of these regulations,” the Ministry of Transport said.
The Ministry has urged members of the public and taxi operators to take preventative measures to mitigate against the spread of the virus.
“Government will undertake a programme to assist with the distribution of masks. We also urge operators to continue to sanitise taxi surfaces and to provide hand sanitisers to the public,” the Ministry of Transport said.
New Ministerial Directions to this effect will be published in due course for immediate implementation. – SAnews.gov.za