Passengers share sanitiser

2020-03-24 14:30
(Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

(Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

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WATCH | President Cyril Ramaphosa to address South Africa on coronavirus

2020-03-23 20:24

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on the coronavirus pandemic on Monday evening. WATCH

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) is distributing hand sanitiser throughout taxi ranks in KwaZulu-Natal to curb the spread of Covid-19, but some taxi operators appear to have already run out.

The Witness spoke to some daily commuters on Monday who shared their experiences in taxis, considering Covid-19.

Xolani Mngomezulu from Imbali said on Monday morning he saw some taxi drivers holding bottles of hand sanitiser but the taxi he was boarding did not have any.

Mngomezulu said, however, he did get some hand sanitiser when he boarded a taxi at Sobantu taxi rank.

“I don’t think all the drivers have been given sanitisers yet but there is a clear effort seen all round,” said Mngomezulu.

Another commuter, Nhlanhla Mzobe, on Monday told The Witness of a pleasant moment in a taxi where one of the passengers shared their own sanitiser with everyone else.

Mzobe said that as the sanitiser was being passed around, some passengers were ‘educating’ others about Covid-19.

“It was a heart-warming moment. Ubuntu was at play throughout the ride. In a way, this virus is bringing us closer together,” said Mzobe.

The Witness went to Scottsville on Monday and spoke to taxi drivers who operate there. A driver who asked to not be named said the only drivers who have sanitisers for passengers are those who bought it themselves. He said they had put out a bucket of soapy water for passengers to wash their hands before entering but it but this was not successful.

A woman who was nearby commented saying that she also would not put her hands in soapy water used by strangers.

“No matter how many times the water is changed, I would never. It is basically recycling each other’s dirt,” she said in disgust.

Spokesperson for Santaco, Sifiso Shangase said on Monday the plans to distribute hand sanitisers to taxi ranks are under way.

Shangase said an implementation plan has been drafted and there are various task teams working on the speedy distribution of sanitisers. He said that Santaco was engaging with the Department of Health to get 50 000 bottles of sanitiser to be given to drivers all around KZN, and they had also proposed to place 50-litre containers filled with sanitiser at the busiest taxi ranks from April, He said a recipe that’s been approved by the Department of Health has been shared with taxi drivers so they can make their own sanitisers by mixing Dettol or Savlon, Sunlight dishwashing liquid, some alcohol or methylated spirit and water in a 500 ml bottle.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  coronavirus
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