Passengers sit in a fully loaded taxi ready to leave the Bloed Street Taxi Rank . Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)
Passengers sit in a fully loaded taxi ready to leave the Bloed Street Taxi Rank . Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)

Reverse the 100% taxi capacity, says union

By James Mahlokwane Time of article published Jul 23, 2020

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Pretoria - The government should reverse its decision to allow the taxi industry to load at 100% capacity, just as it did with the sale of alcohol.

Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA spokesperson Kevin Malama, said yesterday, on behalf of their 60 000 workers in the public and private health sector, adding that the government's decision was reckless.

He said loading at full capacity risked the lives of people in the forefront of the battle against Covid-19.

Malama said the government and the taxi industry had abandoned negotiations over the issue of relief for the taxi industry and that subsequently led to the government being forced to accept 100% capacity for short distances and 70% for long distances.

He said if the government was able to see that lifting the ban on the sale of alcohol backfired, surely they could do the same with the taxi industry.

“This shows that they abandoned negotiations after failing to agree on a balance between saving the economy and protecting the health of millions of people using taxis on a daily basis.

“Now our health practitioners who are fighting this virus stand a greater chance of being infected by the virus in taxis, meanwhile cases are increasing significantly. If they get sick from this virus and cannot work then the health-care sector could collapse.

“The decision is a death nail to the fight against Covid-19 as risk of transmission will increase especially among health workers at a crucial time when the virus hits its peak,” Malama said.

Cosatu has also called on the government to reverse the decision on taxis because the spread of the virus was still peaking. The federation said it was pointless to observe social distancing in the workplace, if people would be crowded in a taxi.

*For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za

Pretoria News

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