Pretoria – About 27 taxi drivers and 18 passengers were found to have contravened the Covid-19 regulations to wear a face mask covering nose and mouth during a city campaign by the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco).
The organisation yesterday visited ranks in Tshwane in the “Mask On” campaign, stopping at spots in the CBD such as the Thabo Sehume, Bloed Street and Boom Street taxi ranks.
Those found to have disregarded the regulations were fined and warned.
This follows complaints from commuters about taxi drivers who defy regulations to slow the spread of Covid-19 by not wearing masks or wearing them incorrectly.
Santaco Tshwane regional spokesperson Mack Makata said some taxi drivers were found not wearing a mask and others had it around their chins.
“We will be running a campaign to teach them about the importance of safety, especially during the pandemic. Most of our drivers are starting to see the seriousness of the situation. We are pleading with them to wear their masks, sanitise and wash their hands before and after every trip,” said Makata
“We have also put up stickers in taxis encouraging both our drivers and commuters to wear their masks. If drivers don’t wear a mask, how do they expect passengers to wear theirs?”
Some commuters said they were afraid to address the issue with the drivers for fear of being thrown out of the taxi. Other complained that the drivers did not allow them to open the windows as has been recommended for a good air flow.
The adjusted level 3 regulations announced on December 28 include stricter penalties for non-compliance, including making it an individual’s responsibility to wear a mask in public.