Health Minister, Aron Motsoaledi, has urged taxi operators to live healthy lives and to avoid being infected with HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Motsoaledi was addressing the launch of an awareness campaign, which is a joint venture between the taxi industry and the national Department of Transport at the Bosman Taxi Rank in Pretoria.
The campaign is targeted at more than a quarter of a million taxi operators country wide.
Motsoaledi says the taxi industry is complex and therefor operators, drivers, queue marshals and hawkers need to be encouraged to get tested for HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure and diabetes among others.
“Now if we look at those numbers they are huge and it means if we don’t do anything about their health then we won’t be able to defeat diseases as we are planning. For instance on treatment we’ve got 4.2 million people, we still need to put 2million people by 2010. Look at the people passing through the taxi rank, 450 000 hawkers, so if we can take the services there, mobile clinics to test them for HIV/AIDS, diabetes etc. We can reach a huge number of South Africans.”