The Transport and Public Works Department has requested Golden Arrow Bus Services to increase its services to provide immediate alternative transport for those “essential services workers”. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
The Transport and Public Works Department has requested Golden Arrow Bus Services to increase its services to provide immediate alternative transport for those “essential services workers”. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Golden Arrow requested to carry essential services staff amid Covid-19 lockdown

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Mar 30, 2020

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Cape Town - The Transport and Public Works Department has requested Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs) to increase its services to provide immediate alternative transport for those “essential services workers” who might be left stranded today.

This comes as Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula relaxed the operating hours for public transport operators to accommodate social grant beneficiaries collecting their payments.

On Friday hundreds of frustrated workers were left stranded at taxi ranks with no minibus taxis moving during peak hours due to their dissatisfaction over the number of people they were required to carry.

Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said they had received numerous reports of essential services workers, including healthcare and retail staff, being stranded and unable to get to work.

“Disturbingly, we have also received reports of minibus taxi operators refusing to allow their usual passengers to use alternative transport and, in some cases, violently attacking alternative means of transport for essential services workers,” Madikizela said.

Minibus taxis are now permitted to carry eight people, rather than the usual 16. During the lockdown, all public transport operators are restricted to two daily operating slots: from 5am to 9am and from 4pm to 8pm.

Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) spokesperson Besuthu Ndungane said they were waiting for an update on whether minibus taxi would operate or not.

Gabs general manager Derick Meyer said: “We have taken note of the demand this morning and are attempting to further refine our service offering to meet the demand.”

@SISONKE_MD

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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