Mbalula admits govt caught off guard by COVID-19 in public transport sector

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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has admitted that government was caught off guard by COVID-19 in the public transport sector.

Millions of South Africans depend on trains, taxis and buses to get to work and other destinations.

He was talking during an economic cluster briefing on Thursday afternoon.

Mbalula said they were learning to adapt to the new conditions with time.

He was addressing the media on the decision to allow taxis to operate at full capacity during the lockdown, among other issues.

He disputed the claim that government caved in to the demands of the taxi industry.

“Out of those taxis, whether we are 70% or 100%, we must be safe. The taxis are not travelling for a long distance, it’s a short distance.”

He said the public transport system was already under pressure, even before the pandemic, and that government was already looking at formalising the taxi industry, among other interventions.

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