Mpumalanga bus driver shares impact COVID-19 has had on her job

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Saturday, 4 July, is exactly 100-days since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the nationwide lockdown in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The lockdown has had a huge impact on different sectors of society.

It has not only deprived many people the means of earning an income to feed their families, but it has also affected essential workers.

Buscor bus driver shares her story

Thandi Magagula, who works for one of the biggest bus companies in Mpumalanga, Buscor, spoke to SABC News about the impact the coronavirus has had on her job.

Magagula’s working day starts at 4am.

She transports passengers between Mbombela and surrounding areas. She has been with the company for the past seven years.

However, since the lockdown started she had to make some adjustments in executing her duties as a driver.

According to the mother of one, besides adhering to the COVID-19 regulations, some old traditions such as holding a church service on the bus had to be stopped.

She says it’s not easy, but one has to adapt to the new way of doing things.

“Sermons in the bus have been stopped because of the coronavirus, in line with the COVID-19 regulations because the mouth droplets may spread while one is preaching”

Magagula has conceded that at first, she was afraid of getting infected with the coronavirus because of the nature of her work. She says she is now confident in the measures undertaken by the company as all passengers are sanitised.

“My company, Buscor, protects us. Before you sign in for work, you check your body temperature, you sanitise, the buses are being sanitised every night, and since the virus started no driver has tested positive”

Impact of COVID-19 on Buscor 

The virus has also hit the bus company hard.

Buscor spokesperson, Vuyani Ndlovu, says the company has experienced a huge loss as it only operates at 50% of capacity.

He says passengers sometimes get impatient and disregard regulations.

“Passengers are frustrated because they have been on lockdown, they have been at home quite a long time. Now they are returning back to work only to find that sometimes we can’t ferry them in time because we have to load at 50% capacity but it’s improving but when they are  frustrated, they block roads push themselves into the buses, but it is improving.”

Buscor transports more than 150 000 passengers every day.

It operates mainly in the Lowveld area of Mpumalanga.

In the video below, the purpose of the lockdown and impact: 

Latest COVID-19 statistics in South Africa: