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Gauteng taxi drivers violate lockdown rules despite law enforcement presence

Taxis

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa  – Taxi operators in the Joburg CBD on Monday continued to violate the lockdown regulations despite the presence of law enforcement officers at three major ranks.

Taxis were loading 100% capacity after a call by the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) to defy the regulations.

Government has offered R1.1 billion as a relief to taxi operators, but that was turned down by operators saying that the money was not enough.

The deployment of law enforcement officers at taxi ranks in the Joburg CBD appeared not to be making a difference as taxi operators were defying the lockdown rules in their presence.

Several police and army vehicles were stationed at the Metro and Bree Street ranks, while others were deployed at the Noord Street taxi rank.

Marshals were loading taxis since the early hours of Monday morning, not adhering to the rules. Only a few operators were seen sanitising commuters, while others were just letting commuters into the vehicles.

Social distancing was also not being adhered to with commuters standing in lines next to each other. However, commuters had masks and face screens.

The spokesperson for the Department of Police Lirandzu Themba said: “From an enforcement point of view, anyone found to be in violation of regulations will certainly be dealt with.”

Meanwhile, Santaco warned that it would embark on a nationwide strike should their taxis be impounded for breaking the regulations.

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