The fight to combat COVID-19 has been taken to various taxi ranks in Tshwane. This is after the Gauteng government partnered with AngloGold Ashanti to provide water tanks at Hammanskraal taxi ranks, north of Pretoria.

Gauteng is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak with more than 500 cases, and the government believes more efforts are needed to curb the spread of the virus.

Hammanskraal residents have been struggling to access clean water for many years. However, with the latest partnership, City of Tshwane officials are optimistic this will improve the supply of clean water after years of challenges.

Tshwane Administrator Mpho Nawa says it is important to work together.

“So, it is important that we resolve the Hammanskraal water problem. The Mamelodi issues of floods … surely, soon we will be giving some feedback on what we are doing. There’s a lot of problems that have been mentioned. So, we are all in this work and that’s priority number one for us.”

In the video below, residents of Hammanskraal plead with government to ensure access to water in the area: 

The taxi industry has assured commuters and the Hammanskraal community that efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic remains a societal problem that requires a joint venture.

South African National Taxi Council’s Thabo Moiloa says they support government efforts.

“I just feel great for what the government has done for us. We’ve long awaited this project. We say to the people, ‘please, let’s look after these tanks because they’re of great help for you.'”

The National Taxi Alliance also forms part of the project. “Government has been coming to the party. We can fight this pandemic together as one. As long as the community helps us by not breaking these tanks as this will help us to fight the coronavirus pandemic,” says the alliance’s Mpho Motsepe.

Gauteng MEC for Transport, Jacob Mamabolo, says he is pleased with the move to get the taxi operators to co-operate.

“Having worked with the taxi industry in this province within a short space of time, I am very much pleased with what they’re doing. It’s not easy. It’s very difficult, but I can assure you this programme is improving daily. Every taxi rank, when you arrive you should find them disinfecting the vehicles. You should find them sanitising the commuters. We are also going to find out if we can assist with other things that are required.”

Mamabolo says further announcements will soon be made with regard to efforts to fight the spread of the virus.

Five South Africans have lost their lives to the virus, while there have been more than 1300 confirmed cases in the country.

In the video below, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize updates the nation about the number of coronavirus cases: