Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, expressed satisfaction with how Rea Vaya bus service is making efforts to comply with level 4 national lockdown regulations.
Mbalula was speaking on Thursday morning in Johannesburg. He visited Rea Vaya bus depot in Soweto, to inspect compliance to the COVID-19 regulations. He then travelled by the bus from there to the Library Gardens in the Johannesburg Central Business District.
The minister's Thursday visit was a follow-up to a previous inspection during which he found discrepancies in terms of
social distancing. He at the time threatened to shutdown this municipal bus operations if there was no improvement.
But today he sang a different tune.
“There is social distancing and marked the seats to keep up with the social distancing inside the buses. We will have the capacity of people seated, but no one standing," said Mbalula, who was joined by Gauteng Transport MEC, Jacob Mamabolo and City of Johannesburg Mayor, Geoff Makhubo
“We are happy that there is now compliance to address the social distancing in the buses,” he said.
Mbalula added that sanitising and social distancing are part of the new way of life.
“This is our way of life. This our new way of doing things. As you would have seen in the streets, whenever we come together like this, we must put on our masks and ensure that when you're into the spaces like public transport and taxis you get sanitised or use your own sanitiser," he said.
Mayor Makhubo said members of the public often don't understand the lockdown regulations for public transport.
“We have adhered to your instruction for our buses - not only Rea Vaya, but also Metro Bus - to adhere to the regulations. We will be talking to the minister’s office regarding the problems we are having because our community doesn't understand. They want to enter the bus in numbers, but as you can see the metro police are assisting. But it causes social problems," he said.