Hygiene and education in taxis

2020-03-25 06:05
It was business as usual at the city’s taxi ranks. Seen boarding a taxi at the Market Square Taxi Rank is Andile Mdlalose from Napierville. Commuters at the rank said they were confident that government would contain the spread of the virus. PHOTO: MOEKETSI MAMANE

It was business as usual at the city’s taxi ranks. Seen boarding a taxi at the Market Square Taxi Rank is Andile Mdlalose from Napierville. Commuters at the rank said they were confident that government would contain the spread of the virus. PHOTO: MOEKETSI MAMANE

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THE KwaZulu-Natal South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says its members will continue to operate their businesses as usual.

Santaco KZN spokesperson Boy Zondi said while they respected the call for stricter measures, their hands were tied because commuters still need to get to work.

However, he said there were plans to bolster hygiene control at taxi ranks.

“We will be doing awareness campaigns to educate our commuters and drivers about the virus,” he said.

“We will also distribute sanitisers and the planning committee is still coming up with other measures to ensure everyone’s safety.”

He said taxi operators had bills to pay and if they heeded the president’s call, their families would go hungry.

He said many owners were still paying off their vehicles and they would only be able to stop operating if the government or banks cleared their debts.

He promised Santaco would be placing posters in all its buses to inform its passengers about the virus.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said random screenings will be conducted at train stations and taxi ranks, trains would be specially cleaned and public transport users would be urged to practice social distancing.

Airport personnel would be required to wear surgical masks and gloves during the course of their duties.

KZN Scholar Transport Association spokesperson Phendulani Ndlovu said although schools have closed, it will not affect their income.

“We sign standard contracts with parents that stipulate that we must be paid for 11 months.

“We do feel bad that this situation is shortchanging, because they have already paid for March, but the situation is out of our hands,” said Ndlovu.

Meanwhile, bus company Sizanani Mazulu Transport (SMT) said it had already provided its drivers with protective wear like disposable gloves to collect and change money.

“Buses are being cleaned daily and we have posters up about the virus.

We have also urged our commuters to carry necessary protective wear to stay safe,” said SMT spokesperson Ashraf Hassim.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said 10 environmental health practitioners are currently being trained to assist the District Outbreak Response Team.

“Health Care Risk Waste at all public clinics, hospitals, private laboratories and health facilities are continuously monitored for the safe disposal,” she said.

“We already have employees that have been tasked with addressing the residents, old age homes, childcare facilities, shopping malls, taxi ranks, franchise food outlets and other large stores on hygiene measures,” Mafumbatha said.

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