Lockdown: Transport dept gets tough to ensure regulations are adhered to

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(Gallo Images/Alet Pretorius)
(Gallo Images/Alet Pretorius)

The national transport department is stepping up measures during the 21-day lockdown, aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, and has put in place measures to ensure that lockdown regulations are adhered to.

The measures are:

  • The deployment of traffic officials deployed in joint operations at boundaries between Mpumalanga and Gauteng, Gauteng and Limpopo, the Free State and Mpumalanga, and Gauteng and the North West;
  • the deployment of traffic officials at taxi ranks across the country;
  • the deployment of traffic officials on major freeways, primary routes and secondary routes.

According to a department statement, a potentially volatile situation may arise at the closed Lebombo and Beitbridge border posts where passengers have refused to turn back.

Buses from Cape Town and Johannesburg have parked at the Shell petrol station in Beitbridge.  

Stopped

Two drivers of Zimbabwean buses, carrying 55 and 74 passengers respectively, were stopped at the Beitbridge border post.

The buses were transporting people from Cape Town and the drivers were charged with the contravention of the regulations. 

Meanwhile, two Toyota Quantum drivers transporting passengers were also charged with the contravention of the regulations.

Turning to taxis, the statement said: "Traffic law enforcement had to close the entrance to Bara taxi rank as some taxi drivers were taking chances after the regulated hours," the statement read.

Regulations

In terms of the regulations, taxis are only allowed to transport people during certain hours in the morning and afternoon and have a passenger limit in the interests of maintaining social distancing. In addition, only passengers allowed to travel for essential purposes are permitted to use public transport.

Meanwhile, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has turned away flights that were supposed to land.

In one instance, a patient was supposed to disembark at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, but ended up proceeding to Cape Town.

"ACSA has been advised by Menzies Aviation that a passenger aircraft is expected to arrive at ORT airport on 28 March 2020. ACSA was unaware of this flight and spent many hours trying to understand the context of this flight. The situation remains unresolved and has been escalated to the ACSA COO," the statement said.

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