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Pretoria – Taxi drivers and informal traders need to take seriously the quality and potency of the sanitisers they use if they are serious about aiding the government to curb the spread of the Covid-19.
This is according to MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure in Gauteng Jacob Mamabolo, who said he was not impressed with the sanitisers he saw during an oversight visit to Mamelodi taxi ranks yesterday morning.
He was there to check on compliance with lockdown rules.
He said the third wave of the coronavirus was “very real and serious” and called on taxi drivers, informal traders, and all people working with people to understand that cost-saving measures to purchase sanitisers with less than 70% alcohol content were to be discouraged.
He said: “One of the things I have seen in mass-transit points with high concentration of people is they are flooded with sanitisers that don’t meet the requirements of alcohol content.
“That could mean people are using sanitisers that are not helping to fight Covid-19. There are certain substances that may fight different infections in the lives of people but may not necessarily be correct for Covid-19.
“Sometimes people could be sanitising, but using the wrong products, and that is why they could fall prey. That is why we as the government assist and provide the taxi operators with sanitisers that are compliant.
“The other issue that worries me at the taxi ranks is that some informal traders do not use them, even when we have issued them with sanitisers. That is very concerning because informal traders interact with a lot of people and you know people like to buy something to eat before getting into a taxi.
“We are therefore calling on the taxi industry to ensure that all small business people operating at their taxi ranks are complying with regulations.
“I also talked to the taxi industry to ask them to make sure of this because the information traders get is a critical component that is part of their industry.”
Passengers Malebo Mohlala and Witness Nkuna said they were impressed to see the MEC visit their taxi rank because it indicated strong political will not only to curb the virus but also to enforce compliance in the townships.
Mohlala said: “We always see politicians on TV, so to see them coming here to talk to our drivers and question them about their sanitisers and whether they are forcing us to keep masks on and open windows for ventilation makes me happy.
“Personally, I am impressed and I hope they do this across the country until we beat this disease.”