Coronavirus lockdown: Mbalula relaxes public transport rules for social grant beneficiaries
Pretoria - Social grant beneficiaries should have an easier time going to collect their money after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that he would relax public transport rules to accommodate them.
From Monday, 30 March 2020 until Friday, 3 April 2020, buses and taxis will be permitted to operate from 5am until 8pm in order to cater to the transportation needs of society’s most vulnerable, Mbalula said on Sunday.
Social grants will be paid from March 30 and 31 for the elderly and the disabled. Other grants such as child social grants will be paid on the first of April.
"Following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the days social grants would be paid, a number of industry bodies has made representations on the relaxation of hours public transport vehicles are allowed to operate. A similar request was made by the Minister of Social Development, Minister Lindiwe Zulu.
"Having considered Minister Zulu’s request and representations made by various industry bodies, including the taxi industry, I have decided to amend the Public Transport Directions in order to accommodate grant beneficiaries," the minister said.
"The exercise of social distance by all those using public transport must be observed and enforced. We will issue further directions in this regard, Mbalula said.
Grant recipients are required to carry their identity documents and South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards when travelling on public transport, to assist law enforcement efforts," he said.
Last week Zulu said there was no need to rush to collect these grants as the money would remain available.
She said Sassa, supermarkets and banks were prepared to facilitate payments of social grants.
Although Sassa offices will not be open during the national lockdown, Zulu encouraged anyone with issues to contact the call centres and visit Sassa's website and social media platforms for assistance.