File Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
File Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

This is what the regulations say about public transport and what 'essential services' mean

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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Johannesburg - Amended regulations published by Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma have seen government clampdown hard on public transport. 

In the amended regulations published on Wednesday, government said public transport was prohibited, except for those rendering essential services. 

“All commuter transport services including passenger rail services, bus services, taxi services, e-hailing services, maritime and air-passenger transport is prohibited, except bus services, taxi services, e-hailing services and private motor vehicles for purposes of rendering essential services, obtaining essential goods, seeking medical attention, funeral services, and to receive payment for grants,” the regulations read.

The regulations also said vehicles could not carry more than 50% of their licensed capacity and that they had to adhere to hygienic conditions to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

The regulations also allowed Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to issue directions for the transportation of persons who must obtain essential goods or services and where such person has no other means except public transport.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Mbalula said approved minibus taxis would not be allowed to operate between 9am and 4pm. Approved taxis would work between 5am and 9am and between 4pm and 8pm.


  • Medical, health, laboratory and medical services 

  • Disaster management, fire prevention, fire fighting and emergency services 

  • Financial services, including the JSE, insurance services and banking services 

  • Production of food, cleaning, hygiene and medical services

  • Grocery stores and essential services 

  • Water, lights, gas and fuel maintenance

  • Funeral services

  • Municipal services

  • Cleaning, sanitation, sewerage and waste removal services 

  • Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunication services 

  • Production and sale of chemical, hygiene products, medical, retail or/and pharmaceutical sector

  • Essential SARS services - to be determined by the Commissioner

  • Private security services 

  • Air-traffic navigation, Civil Aviation Authority, cargo shipping and dockyard services

  • Gold, coal and mining refineries 

  • The executive, MPs, provincial legislatures, local councils, judiciary, traditional leaders and national office bearers represented in Parliament

  • Commissioners of Chapter 9 institutions 

  • Production, manufacturing, supply, logistics, transport, delivery, critical maintenance and repair in relation to the rendering of essential services including components and equipment.

"If we see you in the streets at 12 pm, you better have a good reason because we are all at our homes. Stay where you are," said Mbalula.

"The lockdown is not to punish anyone, it is to reduce movement," he added.


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