The socio-economic national shutdown has seen some people continue with their daily activities. In Gauteng, buses transported people to work and school with many having opted to shun the call to demonstrate.
Trade Union federations Cosatu and Saftu called for a mass stay away, a move that was likely to affect the country’s struggling economy negatively including the delivery of services.
Some Gauteng residents have a tough choice of weighing their options of downing tools or safeguarding their jobs by reporting for duty today.
Resident Mpakeng Tjatji says, “We are really affected especially when it comes to the fares going to work now, we are spending almost R400 more from what we used to spend last year so it is really affecting us which means you need to cut some costs and we don’t know whether it’s going to go on and go on.”
The day also saw public transport operating smoothly in some parts of the province without any hindrances.
Putco Spokesperson Lindokuhle Xulu says, “Putco had a lot to consider in terms of our operations today but what we did put at the top of our mind was commuters that would be needing our services, we do have the mandate to make sure that they move swiftly to their destination, especially, the working class.”
The Gauteng Education Department lauded the learners and pupils for reporting for duty today, at a critical academic period in the year.
Gauteng Education Spokesperson Steve Mabona says, “We are in a precarious situation now, learners are going to write their preliminary examinations and we also looking at the final examinations so our Grade 12s must be in the classroom, we can’t lose any teaching time.”
Health services were also provided without any disruptions. Gauteng Health Spokesperson Motalatale Modiba says, “All of our 37 hospitals are operating as normal we also add across our clinics, its about 369 of them that are operational continuing to operate as normal, in terms of the Gauteng Emergency services, they continue to dispatch ambulances and are responding to emergency calls as normal.”
The City of Johannesburg released a statement, affirming its service delivery role. It pleaded for patience from residents as it works on addressing some of the socioeconomic challenges raised by those demonstrated in Gauteng.
Joburg Mayoral Spokesperson Mabine Seabe says, “As the city of Johannesburg we are committed, we take every compliment and complaint very seriously and on the 1st of July our R77.3 billion budget kicked in and already our residents are starting to see and feel a different city, where people are not seeing differences those changes will come. Where things don’t belong in our sphere of government we engage that sphere of government. We do not just kick the can down the road and say deal with that sphere of government.”
The socioeconomic national shutdown has had little impact on the day-to-day activities on the ground. Some residents opted to go on with their daily activities but maintain that the concerns raised are genuine as they remain hopeful that things will in the near future change for the better.