When trying to get the vast majority of the public to change their entire way of living, you’re going to get a few teething problems on day one. Friday marks the first morning of our lockdown regulations coming into place, and there have already been a few acts of defiance from our taxis to report.
Watch minibus operators break the lockdown rules here:
Two of South Africa’s most-frequented hailing ranks have both found themselves taking a wrap to the knuckles. Passengers embarking vehicles at Bara were ejected, after drivers broke the maximum capacity rules by packing-out the back seats. Police were quick to march the offenders back onto the streets:
— Jacaranda News (@JacaNews) March 27, 2020
@MbalulaFikile morning minister, can you please send safety regulators in taxi ranks, taxi drivers are not complying with safety measures, I've seen a taxi in Sangweni(tembisa)packed with more than 20pax please do something about it.
— Vunwe (@Vunwe94689361) March 27, 2020
What are the rules for taxis during lockdown?
As stipulated by the government’s new emergency legislation, taxis are only allowed to travel between 5:00 – 9:00 and 16:00 – 20:00, dramatically reducing their operational capacity. Once ‘rush hour’ is done, the new test will be to stop these drivers from picking-up passengers outside of these hours.
Furthermore, the minibuses can only carry “half of their” capacity, including the driver: So an eight-seater can only carry three passengers, plus the driver, and a sixteen-seater can only carry seven passengers, and so on.
Bree, Bara ranks see bad behaviour
Some drivers have claimed ignorance as their reasons for flouting the new lockdown rules. At Bree – which was eerily quiet when compared to a normal day – police and law officials again had to ensure that drivers weren’t cramming too many people into their vehicles:
JMPD officials have arrived at the Bree Taxi Rank in Johannesburg to enforce compliance to the new @Dotransport regulations. Taxis here have been transporting full loads (16 commuters) instead of 7. Earlier drivers said they weren't aware of new laws. #CoronaVirusSA @HitekaniMag pic.twitter.com/mzTXhuLNCA
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 27, 2020
Stranded workers flocking to taxi ranks this morning with no taxis moving at the Site C Taxi rank. #Lockdown #StayHome @IOL @TheCapeArgus @TheStar_news @MbalulaFikile @SABCNewsOnline @MadikizelaBongz @alanwinde pic.twitter.com/XpZar7mXMf pic.twitter.com/IXJAIIUG6w
— RIOT & ATTACK info South Africa (@RiotAndAttackSA) March 27, 2020