JOHANNESBURG – The South African minibus taxi industry is big business, representing 75% of all transport to work, schools and universities in South Africa.
The taxi industry has been the backbone of South Africa’s transport industry for decades. Hundreds of commuters descend on taxi ranks daily, making their way to their various destinations in minibuses. These transport hubs are a hive of activity and are always abuzz with commuters and hawkers selling their wears.
With the Coronavirus outbreak currently gripping the country and the world it is worrisome that all these people risk exposure of being infected. These minibus taxis accommodate up to 15 passengers in close proximity. The exchange of money is constant and almost every passenger will have contact with the door handle.
These conditions make the possibility of person to person infection very high. With 69% of all South African households using minibus taxis the effects could be devastating if taxi ranks were compromised.
It is therefore vital for commuters and drivers alike to be educated on the preventative measure they can take to minimise the risk of contracting the virus.
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has already made strides towards curbing the possibility of infections. Santaco president Phillip Taaibosch ordered all taxi operators to ensure that their ranks and vehicles were clean and disinfected daily. He called on queue marshals to constantly encourage and ensure that passengers observed good hygiene habits, and to promote washing of hands with water and soap, and the use of sanitisers.
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter: @sacoronamonitor