Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says public transport windows must be kept five centimetres open on both sides of a vehicle.

Mbalula was addressing the media on additional lockdown regulations for the transport industry on Thursday.

He says the measure will allow taxis to carry 100% capacity.

Mbalula says, “We might have taken decisions that do not favour you (taxi drivers), we say give us a chance to implement these measures because workers must get to work, taxis must survive, this is a balancing act. If it was up to us, taxis would be driving at 40% – even 70%, if you know what a taxis is and tell me about social distance.”

Scholar transport allowed to carry 100%

Mbalula says scholar transport is also allowed to carry 100% of its licensed passenger capacity for trips that are shorter than 200 kilometres.

He says the Metrorail system is non-operational and government is lagging behind in improving the service.

Commuter rail services are allowed to operate at 70% of their licensed capacity.

Millions of commuters rely on Metrorail services, which were only recently reintroduced after being shut down in March.

Passengers not complying

Some minibus-taxi drivers have blamed passengers for not complying with lockdown regulations and putting themselves in danger of contracting the coronavirus.

This taxi driver from Alexandra says getting passengers to comply with regulations is difficult.

“The challenges that we are facing with our customers, some wear masks, some don’t.  Some when they enter our cars, they remove the mask off their face saying they are tired of this thing, they are suffocating, they can’t breathe. And when we give them sanitizers after changing money they say we can’t put sanitizer now my hands are going to be white.”-Additional reporting by Pearl Magubane.

In the video below, last month, operators aligned to the South African National Taxi Council and the National Taxi Alliance defined the lockdown regulation of 70% capacity and started loading passengers at full capacity.