Covid-19 UPDATES (ABUJA, CAPE TOWN AND TUNIS)

Transport report 4 July – 20 July 2021

Nigeria

Current cases total: 169884

Current deaths total:   2128

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/nigeria/

Abuja.

Government initiatives:  

18.7.21. The government has put six states and the federal capital under red alert due to the emergence of the Delta variant. The FCT will close recreation centres during the festive season

15.7.2021. The federal government earmarks N20billion for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine despite denying previously that N10.6 billion  had been set aside for the vaccine.

9.7.21. If there is a two-hour delay airlines must refund passengers 100% airfares. If there are delays between 10 pm and 4 pm carriers need to provide hotel accommodation and refreshments

8.7.2021. Uber and Bolt face regularly concerns in Abuja. The municipal area council want them to pay taxes. Officers book a ride before arresting the driver and making the driver pay a fine.

5.7.21. Seven airlines have received a N2.84bn Covid-19 stimulus package. The target of N 2.3TN to be spent under the economic sustainability plan has not be met. The vice president Yemi Osinbajo has announced that Covid-19 Stimulus package has been helpful. According to him 2 million jobs have been created or saved during the pandemic. The federal government commenced grants for taxi, okada, bus, keke-na pep (tricycle) uber and bolt drivers (N30,000).

Other

16.7.21. The national assembly has urged the transport ministry to check the arbitrary hike of fares during festive periods.

15.7.2021. Faisal Shuaib, the execute director of NPHCDA questions this large sum of money needed for vaccine delivery (N20billion).  According to Shuaib it was communicated to Nigerians that CACOVID, a private sector initiative, would deliver vaccines to all states from Abuja (a cargo plane or delivery van)

14.7.21. The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the insecurity crises. He has said that unless the nation’s markets, building settlements and transportation systems are changed, the transmission of COVID-19 or other communicable diseases in the near future is likely to happen.

Links

https://punchng.com/despite-denial-fg-earmarks-n20bn-for-covid-19-vaccine-distribution/

https://guardian.ng/news/why-insecurity-worsened-in-nigeria-by-aregbesola/

https://punchng.com/despite-denial-fg-earmarks-n20bn-for-covid-19-vaccine-distribution/

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/07/airlines-must-refund-100-airfares-to-passengers-after-two-hour-delay-fg/

https://punchng.com/seven-airlines-got-n2-84bn-covid-19-stimulus-package-fg/

https://www.legit.ng/1423591-fgs-covid-19-stimulus-package-has-been-helpful-says-osinbajo.html

South Africa

Current cases (20.7.2021): 2311232

Total deaths (20.7.2021): 67676

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/

Cape Town

Government initiatives

19.7.21. The Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith says that there are some suggestions that some people in the taxi violence are driving the violence to have a complete monopoly over the industry. Services on Golden Arrow (a bus company) have also been affected, after a driver was shot in the mouth.

18.7. Transport minister Fikile Mbabula urges taxi associations to urgently find a solution to end the deadly taxi violence. He says that if they cannot find a solution the government will have to decide on what needs to happen.

16.7.2021. Transport minister Fikile Mbabula has travelled to Western Cape to meet taxi bosses in an effort to put an end to the taxi violence. Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell announced that he might have to close the route between Paarl and Belville due to ongoing taxi violence. Friday is the deadline for submissions regarding the closure of the Mbekweni and Paarl route.

14.7.2021. The western Cape government are considering closing a taxi route (Bellville-Paarl route B97) due to taxi violence and killings. The Western Cape Transport MEC might close ranks associated with the route, and suspend operating licenses/permits.

9.7.2021. Western Cape Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell held a meeting with the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata), Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta). Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association and the Congress of democratic taxi associations have signed a peace agreement. 8 taxi operators had been gunned down in the Cape Metropol earlier in the week on separate occasions. On the 8th July taxis were not operating but will be fully operational from Friday.

7.7.2021. The Western Cape Transport MEC calls or an emergency meeting after 7 operators were killed. This is believed to be because of conflict between the taxi associations CATA and Codeta.

5.7.2021. Both Gauteng and Western Cape provinces are offering free rides to vaccine clinics to get more people vaccinated. People will be transported by bus from pick up points. Currently, vaccinations are available for those 50 years old or above.

Other

20.7.2021. Passengers are left stranded, and thousands struggle to get to work, after Golden Arrow received threats. According to Natalie Malgas on ENCA news (youtube link), commuters are nervous and cannot risk going to work due to feeling like targets. Bus commuters are also at risk. If you try to get an uber or a private car, these are being warned to stay away. Meanwhile many are desperate to earn wages due to the pandemic.

20.7.2021. Mikhail Manuel from the University of Cape Town reflects on the current taxi violence and passengers being stuck without public transport, and how innovative transport solutions might be the way forward. On Monday, the bus company Golden Arrow was escorted by city law enforcement officers in order to protect the safety of the passengers and drivers. 22 people have lost their lives in taxi wars since the beginning of July 2021. CATA and Codeta stopped operating on their routes within a week of each other. Metrorail announced on Monday afternoon that their services would be suspended due to equipment failure. In addition to this the Central Line is almost non-existent. According to Mikhail Manuel is at the root of the mobility crisis, and he points out that Metrorail is the responsibility of the government which has not invested in public transport for a decade. He also argues that the taxi industry is more powerful than the government. During the pandemic taxis have convinced the government to allow 100% passenger loading during the first wave, whereas other forms of transport had to reduce their capacity. Their violence, he says, is a regulatory mechanism. Mikhail Manuel mentions several transport companies who work across local and provincial government, the private sector as well as communities to find solutions. These include Langa bicycle hub, uber, bolt, Greencap, Golden Arrow electric buses and WhereisMyTransport amongst others.

14.7.2021. Despite CATA and Codeta signing a peace agreement on the 9th, violence in the taxi industry continues. 4 people were wounded in violence related to taxi incidents on the 14th.

12.7.2021. A blockage in Stellenbosch ended quickly (N1 outbound between Klapmuts and Kraaifontein) amid fears of taxi violence. This was ahead of continued talks between taxi associations and the Western Cape Transport department

10.7.21 Two Golden Arrow buses were torched early in the morning before leaving on the daily commute

9.7.2021. Golden Arrow introduces electric buses. The service includes an electric smartcard fare system that is found elsewhere in Sub-Saharan African cities.

8.7.2021. Gig workers in South Africa on 12 platforms, including Uber, Sweepsouth and Mr D Food are facing severe financial insecurity, and the pandemic has already threatened their precarious jobs. In driver and Bolt scored at the bottom of the list, according to research conducted by Fairwork project.

7.7.2021. Commuters in Cape Town are raising concern about the lack of safety measures on trains, buses and taxis e.g. the lack of hand sanitizers

6.7.2021. The first electric bus was launched in Cape Town on the 5th July. Two electric buses will be tested for several months, and will be incorporated into Golden Arrows corporations. For the first few months they will be tested without passengers.

1.7.2021. Drivers responsible for transporting school children are accusing the government of ignoring them, as they do not qualify for a relief fund due to being business owners

Links

https://mg.co.za/news/2021-07-19-cape-town-taxi-violence-spills-over-to-bus-service-as-attacks-continue/

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/d-day-for-warring-western-cape-taxi-industry-20210716

https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/mbalula-to-meet-taxi-bosses-in-an-effort-to-quell-taxi-related-violence-8cfaebc2-3d99-4c38-825b-5ad8ca32a8b9

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/2-golden-arrow-buses-torched-in-cape-town-no-sign-of-protesters-suspicious-activity-city-20210715

https://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/421937/western-cape-transport-mec-vows-to-shut-routes-if-taxi-violence-persists

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/taxi-killings-western-cape-transport-mec-mulls-closing-some-routes-as-death-toll-rises-20210714

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/minibus-taxi-blockade-near-stellenbosch-cleared-amid-tension-over-violence-in-the-industry-20210712

https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/western-cape-taxi-associations-sign-peace-treaty-after-bloodshed-436c0c53-47a1-55fa-a017-987a8bf04242

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/cape-taxi-wars-services-to-resume-following-agreement-with-bosses-20210708

Low pay, unfair conditions and no safety net for Covid-hit gig workers

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/transport-mec-calls-for-emergency-meeting-after-seven-taxi-operators-shot-dead-in-cape-town-20210707

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/covid-19-cape-commuters-raise-concerns-over-lack-of-lockdown-regulations-on-public-transport-20210707

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/gauteng-and-western-cape-offer-free-transport-to-vaccine-sites-20210705

https://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/news/scholar-transport-drivers-hit-by-lockdown-d86fec48-1b08-4222-b084-b2b7e45ea16d

Tunisia

Current cases total (20.7.2021): 554911

Current deaths total (20.7.2021): 17821

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/tunisia/

Tunis

Government initiatives

19.7.21. The ban on travelling between governates is extended until the 31st July. During the Eid celebration vaccinations were open to all people over 18. There is still a curfew between 8pm and 5 am. There is a ban on all public events such as weddings and conferences. Eid prayers are suspended on Fridays, and shopping centres are limited to a 30% capacity. There is general confinement in Tataouine, Beja, Kairouan, Siliana, Jendouba, Zaghouan, but students can continue doing their exams. From the 1st July all travellers over 12 years old must present a negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours before boarding, despite being vaccinated, and must spend 7 days in self-isolation.

14.7.21. The African development Bank has donated 60 million Euros to Tunisia to enable Tunisia to develop the support programme for economic recovery and social inclusion. The programme will support 230,000 employees who are threatened by layoffs and exposed to technical unemployment

13.7.21. Tunisia relies on international aid to deal with the health crisis, and currently has a shortage of oxygen supplies. 2.14 million covid vaccine doses have been given on the 11 July but the authorities had promised to vaccinate 3 million people by then. The country now has the highest death rate on the continent. At the same time France has placed Tunisia on its red list temporarily banning unvaccinated travellers who do not have a compelling reason to travel.

9.7. 21 Libya, Kuwait, Turkey and Algeria have promised to help Tunisia fight the coronavirus pandemic. Quatar has sent a military plane with medics and supplies.

6.7.7.2021. Traffic is prohibited Saturday the 10th July at 5 am to the 12 July at 5 am. All private vehicles and public transport will be prohibited. From the 7th to the 14th weekly markets will be banned in Tunis. On other days there is an increase in public transport during peak hours to avoid delays. There will be more checks regarding sanitary protocol during the week to ensure compliance.

5.7.2021. From the 10th July there will be general confinement every weekend in Tunis. This will initially last two weeks but can be renewed.

8.7.21. There is a travel ban between governorates starting from the 8th July until the end of the month. This does not concern students, who are continuing their exams, some emergencies and the transport of food and medicine.

Other

7.6.2021. The Tunisian National Railway Company (SNCFT) said that they will be limited to one service (round trip) on the Tunis-Beja and Tunis Bizerte lines to limit the spread of coronavirus. It is a requirement to show authorisation during the confinement period, and to wear a mask at stations and during travel

30.6.2021. Transtu has revised its services , following the medication of curfew hours.  Departures will be 5.15 am for all bus lines from suburbs to the city centre, and for the Metroline connecting Tunis and Marsa via la Goulette.

5.7.21. The DTA group (a design office specializing in land, rail, port and airport transport infrastructure) has launched a pre-feasibility study for the implementation of a BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) system in Greater Tunis. It is expected that more people will have access to employment when the initiative goes live.

Links

https://lepetitjournal.com/tunis/actualites/mesures-et-actualites-covid-en-tunisie-et-en-france-au-19-juillet-2021-317268

https://www.france24.com/fr/afrique/20210713-finalement-d%C3%A9bord%C3%A9e-par-la-crise-du-covid-la-tunisie-lance-un-appel-%C3%A0-l-aide

https://africanmanager.com/relance-economique-de-la-tunisie-la-bad-met-la-main-a-la-poche/

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/arab-countries-pledge-aid-tunisia-struggles-with-covid-pandemic-2021-07-09/

https://www.businessnews.com.tn/grand-tunis–circulation-interdite-samedi-et-dimane,520,109859,3

https://www.businessnews.com.tn/confinement-general-a-tunis-tous-les-weekends-a-partir-du-10-juillet-2021,519,109801,3

https://africanmanager.com/couvre-feu-nouvelle-programmation-des-dessertes-de-la-transtu/

https://www.agenceecofin.com/transports/0507-89785-la-tunisie-mature-un-projet-de-bus-rapid-transit-pour-sa-capitale

https://www.webdo.tn/2021/07/08/tunisie-interdiction-des-deplacements-entre-les-gouvernorats/#.YO6jxOhKhEY

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