- The City of Tshwane has temporarily suspended its bus operations and closed its depots following a positive case of Covid-19.
- The City has already had to temporarily close more than 15 of its buildings due to Covid-19 cases.
- The services will resume as soon as the buses and depots are disinfected.
The City of Tshwane had to temporarily suspend its bus operations and close its depots on Friday following a positive Covid-19 case.
In a statement, the City said affected depots and the buses would be disinfected and that the suspension of operations was needed to lower the risk of the virus spreading further.
"The depots will be reopened for business continuity and bus operations will resume as soon as the process has been completed, and communication to that effect will be issued in due course," City spokesperson Selby Bokaba said in a statement.
"The Group Property, Group Health and Group Human Capital Management Departments will adhere to the City of Tshwane standard operating procedure on buildings with confirmed positive Covid-19 cases."
Bokaba added that during the disinfection and deep cleaning of workplaces, areas and buses, all employees housed at the Tshwane Bus Services depots are encouraged to remain at home and take the necessary precautionary measures, where necessary, to observe occupational health and safety directives and protocols related to Covid-19.
Tshwane administrator Mpho Nawa apologised to commuters for the inconvenience caused by the suspension of bus operations, but said it had been done to protect the health and safety of staff and members of the public.
"It is common cause that the coronavirus spreads rapidly and, as a precautionary measure, we resolved to temporarily close the affected bus depots and suspend bus operations until further notice to allow for the deep cleaning and disinfection of the building and the buses," Nawa said.
"We acknowledge that our valued commuters will be adversely affected by the suspension of operations, but this was a necessary move to consider their health and safety, together with that of our staff members."
News24 reported on Thursday that more than 15 buildings in Tshwane had been closed due to Covid-19.
Nawa urged residents to be cautious and use preventative measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, as infections in the country were expected to peak.
Nawa said the call to be extra cautious came on the back of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases among residents and staff in Tshwane, which was expected to peak with the rest of the country.
"Medical experts have predicted that the country will experience a surge in Covid-19 infections, as witnessed in other countries in the northern hemisphere at the height of the winter period.
"More than 15 of the City's buildings have had to temporarily close due to staffers having tested positive for the virus. Most of those buildings have since reopened and the infected staff have remarkably recovered," he added.
News24 previously reported that the City's head office, Tshwane House, Mini Munitoria in Mamelodi West and the Silverton fire station had been temporarily closed after staff members tested positive for the virus.
The Ribeiro Clinic at the Sammy Marks Square shopping complex in the Tshwane city centre was also temporarily closed at the beginning of June.
Bokaba said, in a separate statement, that the city's Fresh Produce Market, which was temporarily closed two days ago due to a confirmed case of Covid-19 case, would be reopen on Saturday.
"The Market has disinfected and deep cleaned the affected areas to meet the minimum Covid-19 requirements for the Market to be reopened.
"A comprehensive inspection was carried out by the City’s Municipal Health Services (MHS) on Friday, 26 June 2020, and determined that the Market met all the requirements to resume business operations tomorrow morning," he said.