The Taxis Would Be Transporting More Than Just Passengers…

Now despite the Transport Minister’s precautionary measures would it not be ridiculous to assume that he is placing the great many at risk being sat in a taxi? Would the government be accountable to the lives of those they are placing now in harm’s way? How do you practise a 2-metre physical distancing in a taxi?

Lockdown means lockdown, and the dilution of the President’s speech to the actions of the Transport Minister merely adds confusion to the efforts to contain the virus. Whether it is a full, large or small load, it is a health hazard.

Is the Government adding to the confusion of the 21-day lockdown? President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that the SANDF army would be enforcing the lockdown. Citizens have witnessed the beatings and humiliating tactics of the authorities to little effect. 

The greatest of all dithering came regarding the policy on taxi loading capacity.  Initially the regulations on COVID-19 lockdown prescribed a 50% loading capacity, however when taxi operators threatened to go on a national strike Transport Minister Fikle Mbalula backtracked, announcing that, “during the lockdown period, all minibus and midi-bus taxi vehicles are permitted to load their maximum 100% passenger loading capacity as provided for in their operating licenses, provided that all passengers are wearing surgical masks or N95 respiratory masks.

 “The consultation process also included relevant structures within government and individual ministers. In consulting with the taxi industry, I have engaged the leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and the National Taxi Alliance (NTA).”

However, just hours after announcing that taxis were allowed to carry the full load with masks conditions, this decision was rescinded yet to another, this time, the latest 70% capacity.

These changes to the lockdown came because the Transport Minister said the measures were all about saving lives and stopping the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.

Now honestly, we all know that this is not a lockdown if mass number of people are able to move around long distances. The idea of a lockdown is to curb the traffic from interacting at close proximities to each other. We are already familiar to the cramped living conditions within townships.

Now despite the Transport Minister’s precautionary measures would it not be ridiculous to assume that he is placing the great many at risk being sat in a taxi? Would the government be accountable to the lives of those they are placing now in harm’s way? How do you practise a 2-metre physical distancing in a taxi?

Lockdown means lockdown, and the dilution of the President’s speech to the actions of the Transport Minister merely adds confusion to the efforts to contain the virus. Whether it is a full, large or small load, it is a health hazard. 

Or is this to do with the pressure being placed on the government to strong-arm them to relent? Would it be interesting to enquire with the WHO on their take of current actions?

Who is really in-charge?

Corona-virus has shown us a side of our government not often seen, with decisive leadership, strategy and responsiveness. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has definitely set the guidelines to efficiency, and such executions of directives were also followed nationally and internationally. So, when it comes to giving credit we must thank the WHO for the mobilisation of our leaders which otherwise would have been an impossible task.

Corona-virus has shown us a side of our government not often seen, with decisive leadership, strategy and responsiveness. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has definitely set the guidelines to efficiency, and such executions of directives were also followed nationally and internationally. So, when it comes to giving credit we must thank the WHO for the mobilisation of our leaders which otherwise would have been an impossible task.

The advice cascaded shows of foreign intervention, for in relaying the directives our leaders had not filtered the message, for they well know that much of our population live in areas which poses serious difficulties in social i.e. physical distancing and many don’t have clean water. 

Much of our population are without decent health care. Most people are afraid of government hospitals – under-staffed, lack of equipment and in one instance literally monkeys entered into a ward. The number of anecdotal events, where wrong medication and extreme delayed response in seeing a physician, have always been the norm. Last year video footage of an old grandma tied to the reception room chairs made headlines. Any healthcare system would be welcomed here in SA, however ours is not actually a system, for what system do chaos reign and bureaucracy shield the privileged incompetent?

Given that much of the population are uneducated the system works against them in this fast-flowing speed of fibre yet dial-up is the mode for the many, now faced with austerity. We need to look after our masses or else one day the barrier of class-status and the divides of rich and poor will burst-forth bring the entire system with it.