Coronavirus: Santaco instructs taxi operators to clean, disinfect vehicles and ranks daily

(Photo by Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw)
(Photo by Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw)

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has read the riot act to all its affiliates regarding the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus to its passengers.

Santaco president Phillip Taaibosch addressed the media and taxi operators at the Wanderers taxi rank in Johannesburg on Wednesday, before handing over the body's Covid-19 prevention protocol document.

Taaibosch ordered all taxi operators to ensure that their ranks and vehicles were clean and disinfected daily.

He called on drivers to treat every person equally, including those infected with the virus.

"Taxi associations from today will be the soldiers that see to it that daily these programmes continue unabated. Taxi ranks and ranking facilities are to be kept clean, disinfected using certified chemicals.

"All taxis must be cleaned daily and disinfected as frequently as possible to ensure that chances of contamination are reduced. All taxis must have sanitisers that are offered to all passengers when they enter taxis and after handling taxi fares," said Taaibosch.

He called on queue marshals to constantly encourage and ensure that passengers observed good hygiene habits, and to promote washing of hands with water and soap, and the use of sanitisers.

Everybody in the vicinity of a taxi rank had been told to always cover their mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing.

Taaibosch encouraged commuters to practice the same hygienic habits they practiced at home.

Monitoring and implementation

"We will be monitoring the implementation of the coronavirus prevention protocols by all operators. We expect every stakeholder to comply.

"I want to emphasise that the task ahead of us is not easy. While we anticipate challenges, we remain committed to ensuring a successful project that will dispel this pandemic from the taxi industry and ultimately save us from what can easily become a deadly encounter.

"We call on our drivers, queue marshals, hawkers, commuters and leadership of this industry to collaborate during this time."

Taaibosch said he was confident that, when everyone pulled together in one direction, the spread the virus would be curtailed and eventually eliminated completely.

He appealed to all South Africans using taxis to remember that not everybody who coughs and sneezes has virus.

"Let us refrain from this thing that when we meet people who cough and sneeze inside our taxis, we start discriminating against them. We are not medical doctors and are not going to be judges of who has the coronavirus or not.

"Nobody should be alighted from your taxis and nobody should be moved from your taxis just because you suspect that they have the coronavirus.

"In the taxi industry, we do not by any means claim to be health experts and therefore we wish to direct anyone with specific medical question and seeking advice on suspected cases or symptoms to make contact with the national coronavirus hotline," Taaibosch said.

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