North West MEC for Health, Madoda Sambatha, and MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management, Sello Lehari, have launched the provincial tracer transport for mass screening, tracing and testing for COVID-19 at Mahikeng Airport on Tuesday.
The programme aims to intensify efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
MEC Sambatha said a minimum of 95 minibus taxis will transport tracers to different wards across the province.
“This programme we are launching is the transportation of tracers across the province. It’s a minimum of 95 taxis, for now. They are meant to spread across the province. They will be transporting tracers per ward, which is a minimum of 10 and it’s around a maximum of 40 in each ward. They will be transported on the basis of the door to door tracing and also on the basis of community awareness campaigns and then linking those that are traced between them and quarantine facilities and between them and isolation facilities.
“It’s meant to ensure that our response responds vibrantly in a ward where people are, so that we limit movement of people who are unaware of the dangers they are posing to themselves,” said Sambatha.
MEC Lehari said the partnership with the taxi industry will assist in the fight against COVID-19.
“We value the partnership we are launching today with our taxi industry, which will indeed assist the province in ending this pandemic,” Lehari said.
SANTACO’s provincial chairperson, Herman Sebegwe, welcomed the programme.
“We are ready and we are going to provide transport as it is a requirement, as it is expected from us as the industry. This came in at the right time. Most of our long-distance operators have been negatively affected by COVID-19 because even now they are not able to operate at full taxi capacity,” said Sebegwe.