Picture: Sizwe sama Yende
  • Minibus taxis, as well as Uber and Bolt, will be banned from the roads except from 05:00 to 09:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00 during the lockdown.
  • They will only be allowed if they are carrying essential workers or South Africans who want to buy food, seeking healthcare or going to a funeral.
  • Vehicles licensed for eight people may only carry three, cars licensed for four people may only carry one.
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Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has confirmed that minibus taxis (as well as Uber and Bolt) can only be on the roads between 05:00 to 09:00, and from 16:00 to 20:00.

Only people who are essential services workers, as well as South Africans buying food, seeking medical attention, going to a funeral service or those seeking payment of grants will be permitted to use taxis.

There will be no mass movement of buses, Mbalula said. Only buses carrying workers, and those to hospitals will run.

South Africa will go into a national lockdown on Friday, 27 March (immediately after midnight on Thursday), to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night. The shutdown will last for 21 days.

During that time, all businesses must shut down, other than a list of those considered vital.

Read more: Car crashes, violence down in SA after new alcohol rules, emergency responders say

Mbalula earlier said that passengers in taxis will have to carry permits from their employers stating that they are essential workers.

Workers for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential finance systems (including the JSE), supermarkets, petrol stations, healthcare providers and companies involved in making or distributing food (including farms, basic goods, and medical supplies) are considered essential. The police will stop taxis and their passengers will be expected to show permits.

Vehicles licensed for eight people, will only be permitted to carry a maximum of three. cars licensed for four people will only be allowed to carry one. 

All taxis must be sanitised after every journey, and operators should put measures in place for social distancing between passengers.

Minibus taxi owners who have received financing via the government-owned Small Enterprise Finance Agency will get a three-month debt repayment holiday. Mbalula says banks are considering similar interventions. 

All international and domestic flights will be prohibited. Cargo will be allowed through airports and ports.

No passengers trains will be operational.

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