The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) says it's happy that the taxi industry was not mentioned on a priority list of groups that will receive COVID-19 vaccination first.
On Monday night, president Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that the coronavirus vaccine would be given to South Africans in three phases starting with frontline health care workers and other essential services workers, but did not mention the taxi industry.
NTA spokesperson, Theo Malele, said the taxi industry transports about 15 million people daily, but feels left out when important COVID-related decisions are taken. Malele said it is a serious omission not to include the taxi industry in the vaccine rollout.
“The taxi industry transports 70% of the commuting public, which translates to more than 15 million commuters daily. Therefore it is a serious and fatal ommission by the government and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to exclude taxi drivers, queue marshals and other rank personnel from the critical groups that must be prioritised when the coronavirus vaccination is implemented,” he said.
Malele said the NTA would write to the NCCC and Ramaphosa about its concerns.
“We will be dispatching a letter to the honourable Minister of Health for the attention of both the NCCC and His Exellency the President, requesting them to reconsider this counter-productive and fatal ommission,” he continued.
He also said the industry will continue ensuring that all non-surgical COVID-19 prevention protocols are followed at all times in an effort to stop the spread of infections.
Ramaphosa said the country has secured 20 million doses of vaccine to be delivered mainly in the first half of the year.