The minibus taxi industry has welcomed the easing of Covid-19 restrictions as the country moved to level one from Sunday, 28th February.
During his address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country was now ready to move to ease of some of the restrictions in order to allow the economy to move back to normal levels.
Theo Malele, national spokesman for the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) said it was good that the country has now moved to level one where it was expected that more people would resume their normal lives, especially workers, many of whom had been confined to their homes.
“The move would now allow more workers to come through and hopefully we shall our revenue improving. That said, we would have hoped for more other elements of the level one to be thoroughly explained to us,” said Malele.
More worryingly though, added Malele, was the fact that all cross-border taxis were still expected to operate at a carrying capacity of 70%, just like what it was when Covid-19 hit the country in March last year.
Phineas Chabalala speaks for the Gauteng South African National Taxi Council. He says that the fact the country has been moved to level one bodes well for the industry.
“At least we are back to working well and that is good for the industry. Remember that as an industry we have never had time to fully operate since the pandemic hit the country,” said Chabalala, adding that the only concern was the impact the Covid-19 had on both cross-border and long-distance operations.
“We have many operators doing cross-border and now we are struggling to make a descent living as a result. Trips to counties like Lesotho and Mozambique have over the past year not been sufficient to make us be financially stable, said Chabalala.