Taxi drivers take the wheel in Tshwane Mask-up initiative
Pretoria – Taxi associations have taken the matter of the safety of drivers and passengers into their own hands during the Mask-up campaign in Tshwane.
In a joint effort between the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) and the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in the capital, they said they were not waiting for intervention from the Transport ministry.
Piet Mahlangu of the Tshwane Taxi Alliance said not only was their campaign aimed at reducing the risk of the spread of Covid-19, but was also geared at safer driving habits.
Although taxis transport the majority of commuters, the Mask-up effort reached out to Putco buses too.
After a first day in the city centre, on its second day the focus was on Zambezi Drive and Moloto Road where taxi drivers and passengers were checked for masks and issued spot fines for not wearing one.
“But it's not only about catching them out; we also give them masks.
“Maybe they don't have a mask or maybe they forgot them.
“Either way, we give them masks to protect themselves and others,” Mahlangu.
But not all passengers were impressed. Gloria Seleke said: “I don't see why the police and taxi associations have to baby us. Adults should take responsibility for their own lives. What has gone wrong with our people?”
Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo applauded the leadership of the taxi associations working together to ensure the protection of lives.
"The fact that they are here out of their own initiative, enforcing the wearing of the masks, is highly appreciated.Taxi and bus commuters are responding well and it is good for us to make a contribution to combat the spread," said Mamabolo.
According to Mamabolo, on Monday 27 drivers and 18 passengers were found to have contravened regulations.