Level 3 lockdown: No limit on operating hours for public transport, rail services to resume gradually
Cape Town - The lifting of the curfew from June 1 will be an unexpected boon to minibus, metred and e-hailing taxi operators as their hours of operation will no longer be limited, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Saturday.
However, the following capacity restrictions remain:
- Minibus taxis remain at 70% loading capacity;
- Buses must adhere to a maximum loading capacity of 50%, taking due regard of standing passengers;
- e-hailing and metred taxis remain at 50% loading capacity
- shuttle, chauffeur and charter services remain at 50% loading capacity.
- Passenger rail services wil resume operations on an incremental basis from June 1, said Mbalula.
The Gautrain, which resumed operations at the beginning of May, will resume the airport service on June 1. However, commuters will have to wait another month before Metrorail begins operating again.
"Through our ongoing engagements and evaluation of Prasa’s state of readiness to resume operations, we have concluded that Prasa is not ready to resume with the Metrorail commuter service. We continue to work closely with Prasa in assessing each line and put measures in place to achieve an acceptable level of readiness," Mbalula said.
Under level 3 lockdown, long distance passenger rail travel remains prohibited, he said.
Metrorail is expected to resume services on the following lines on July 1:
- Pretoria to Pienaarspoort;
- Cape Town to Simonstown;
- East London to Berlin; and
- Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage
Long distance public transport
"With the increase in the number of people returning to work and learners and students returning to institutions of learning, long distance public transport crossing Provincial, Metropolitan or District boundaries is permitted to operate," Mbalula said on Saturday.
Public transport operators offering long distance services will be allowed to operate, provided that they only carry paasengers permitted to travel between provinces under the Disaster Management regulations.
Categories of persons permitted to travel long distance:
- Persons undertaking work responsibilities or performing a service permitted under Alert Level 3, provided they are in possession of the requisite permit.
- Persons moving to a new place of residence;
- Persons caring for an immediate family member;
- Learners or students who have to commute to and from those schools or institutions of higher learning during periods when those schools or institutions are permitted to operate.
- Persons travelling to attend funerals;
- Persons transporting mortal remains;
- Persons travelling to obtain medical treatment;
- Persons returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility;
- Children moving between custodial parents
- Members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities.