PLEASE NOTE: This document contains only provisional information for each country, based on the information that our in-country teams have been able to access. We hope to provide updates of this information approximately at fortnightly intervals.
Covid-19 and transport in the Republic of South Africa. Cape Town.
Cape Town 30 September-16 October
Current cases (16.10.2020): 698.184
Current deaths (16.10.2020): 13.309
15.10.2020. The transport minister Fekile Mbabula joined the Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela to discuss the taxi industry (a provincial taxi lekgotla). The transport minister believes that a formalisation of the taxi industry will be a game changer. The meeting is a build-up towards a historical national lekgotla that will be held on the 29.10.2020. The taxi MEC highlighted the increased taxi violence. There have been more than 60 taxi related murders.
9.10.2020. The minister of transport, Mbabula and his spokesperson Ayanda Allie-Paine detail their plan to revive PRASA (passenger rail industry of South Africa). They are introducing new train models. They are also going to introduce a new PRASA board. The total stoppage during covid-19 has prompted the need for reviving the train network. At the heart of their intervention is user safety, e.g. through digital support. Stations will also be upgraded. Mbubula mentions they have been working on land relocation, as some people have been building shacks on railway lines.
6.10.2020. The minister of transport reveals that 3100 PRASA workers will combat vandalism and damaging of infrastructure.
2.10.2020. The minister of transport updates that travellers from neighbouring countries to South Africa can freely enter the country. All travellers from Africa will be screened for covid-19 and must possess relevant travel documents. Ships are permitted to dock, offload and load cargo. All travellers should have a travel insurance that will cover covid-19 tests and quarantine. Travellers who intend to enter South Africa must present a PCR test carried out 72 hours from the time of departure. The minister launches the October transport month that started 4 years ago and has created 250 jobs for local residents.
1.10. 2020. Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela proposes to close certain taxi routes due to escalating violence.
13.10.2020. Activists in Cape Town called for the government to rethink its decision to terminate the covid-19 relief fund. The extension of the caregiver grant and the covid-19 social relief of distress (SRD) will cost 37 million rand.
7.10. 2020. Several countries in Europe are on South Africa’s high-risk travel list. They may be removed after airline talks
The golden Arrow bus service is concerned about increased violence. Latest one of their buses with 30 passengers was robbed in Samora Machel.
7.10.2020 Cosatu (congress of South African Trade Unions) and Saftu (South African federation of trade unions) held a national strike concerning the grievances in public transport, health and safety, corruption, attacks on collective bargaining, retrenchments and unemployment, gender-based violence and the gender pay gap. The strike aims to promote safe transport.
7.10. Metrorail adds five stations between Fish Hoek and Cape Town.
6. October. Casatu (The congress of South African Trade unions ) will strike on the 7th . Casatu asked its members to stay at home to support the action due to the coronavirus pandemic. Casatu has about 2 million members who are working. They plan to have socially distanced pickets and motorcades across all 9 provinces. The strike is primarily about a wage dispute with the government. Casutu said that it is necessary to deal with issues such as transport. Transport is key to dismantling the system of apartheid, especially spatial challenges.
29. 9.2020. The city of Cape Town is implementing recovery plans for potholes after lockdown and rain.
Draft report 16-29 September. Covid-19 and transport in the Republic of South Africa. Cape Town.
South Africa, Cape Town
Current cases in South Africa (29.9.2020) 671.669
Current deaths in South Africa (29.9.2020) 16.586
25.9.2020: Cape Town’s international airport is ready to resume flights, but the airport company is waiting for the list of countries from which passengers will be allowed to enter South Africa. Cape Town international airport, OR Tambo and King Shaka international will be the only South African airports that will accept international travellers. The transport minister, who visited the airport in Cape Town, said that they are looking at more options to expand rail services as well as load capacity for long distance taxi travel.
21.9.2020. Cape Town moves to level 1. This means that there will be a night curfew from midnight to 4 am, except when permissions are granted, or when attending a medical or security emergency. Attendance at funerals is limited to 100 people. Gatherings, e.g. faith based, social events, concerts, traditional council meetings are limited to 250 indoors, and 500 outside. Gatherings at e.g. bars or gyms are limited to 50% capacity. The sale of liqueur is permitted from 9am -5 pm (Monday-Friday). A person must not be evicted from his/her home/land unless a competent court has authorised this. From the 1 October all travellers from the African continent and outside the African continent will resume, if the countries have a low rate of infection, and if the travellers provides a negative covid-19 test conducted within 72 hours of the date of travel. Bus and taxi services can carry maximum 70% of their capacity for long distance travel, and 100% capacity for short travels.
28.9.2020. The manager of Cape Town Central city improvement says that there has been a spike in crimes since the move to level 1, which is to be expected due to the increased movement of people coming into the city centre.
24.9.2020. A committee member for transport Cape Town says that this is a need for one transport authority to coordinate the entire system – rail, bus and taxi. Most of the buses and taxis sit with the provincial government, except for instance Mycity that rests with a local government. Trains and buses receive operating subsidies, but taxis do not. To receive a license each taxi must be a member of a taxi association which costs between R 30.000 and R120.000. The writer suggest that tax is probably not paid which can incentive taxi associations to get more taxis on the road, which in turn can cause disputes over routes. According to the committee member a formalisation of the taxi industry is needed.
24.9. Unions who represent the workers in the bus company Golden Arrow are gearing up for industrial action in Philippi against changes to their employment conditions which had previously been held in Montana on the 22.9.2020. According to Golden Arrow the dispute is about promotions and does not affect workers in their current occupations. However, workers are concerned that this is incorrect and are concerned about their wages.
22.9. The transport minister announces that South Africa is expected to open its international borders on the 1 October and will adopt a risk-based system (high risk or low risk) selecting which countries will be allowed to enter. A traveller must produce a negative covid-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours, and if they cannot, they will have to quarantine at their own expense. All commercial seaports will open. Daily commuters from neighbouring countries will be allowed to enter. 35 land borders that are currently closed will remain closed.
21.9.20. Cape Town international airport is piloting thermal cameras to reduce the risk of covid-19 for travellers.
19-20.9.2020. Two golden Arrow buses were set alight.
17.9.2020. Metrorail has added Muizenberg and Fish Hoek stations to the Southern Line on its weekday rail services.
Draft report 1-15 September. Cape Town
Current cases in SA 15.9.2020: 650.749
Current deaths in SA 15.9.2020: 15.499
14.9.2020. The South African government publishes new lockdown directives opening pre-schools and care homes. This will also involve a number of changes in the transport sector regarding the evacuation of South African nationals or people with permanent residency to the republic, humanitarian operations, the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods, the repatriation of a foreign national to their country of nationality or permanent residence, medical emergencies if life-threatening conditions, the movement of diplomatic staff and international organisations and the return of SA national or permanent residents to their place of employment, study or residence outside of South Africa.
11.9.2020: The western Cape cabinet will meet on Friday to discuss the reopening of the economy, e.g. the provincial government plans to make a call to allow international travel.
The minister of transport in western Cape will finish his garden route district visit on Friday (a 3-day-visit) where he has met with minibus taxi leaders and municipal officials after months of escalated tensions.
The transport minister says that more than 200.000 taxis operate illegally and has invited for talks regarding regulating the industry. The current approach that relies on provincial structures fails to address that taxi drivers are complying with the law. The minister said that the leadership of Santaco (South African national taxi council) is often contested.
10.9.2020. The national state of disaster will now last until the 15 October. The cabinet continues to urge the public to use masks, social distancing and hand washing.
9.9.2020. The minister of health revealed that South Africa will soon move to level 1 (no date). The health minister said that there is a need for people to start earning an income without needing further assistance from the government.
8.9.2020. Premier Alan Winde says that it is important that people in the province continue to stick to covid-19 rules despite the drop in cases.
According to the transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela 56 have been killed and 106 arrested in the western Cape Taxi war in 2020. He has had several meetings with Cape Amalgamated Taxi Associations (Cata) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) concerning the current taxi related violence.
The city of Cape Town’s transport committee has said that PRASA (a rail agency of SA) has failed to get the central line up running even before the pandemic, despite the president’s promise that it would run in September 2020. The committee’s chairperson said that although vandalism continued to play a role in the state of the central line, PRASA has played a leading role in not ensuring that the necessary safety measures have been put in place.
3.9.2020. The western Cape wants to further open the economy as the coronavirus cases drop. A latest analysis shows that some people may have immunity to the virus. Covid-19 surveillance is planned for the next 18-24 months (mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing)
12.9.2020. The bus company Golden Arrow is appealing to come forwarded regarding information on the attacks of their busses offering a reward of R200.000.
10.9.2020. The passenger rail agency of SA (PRASA) have stated that vandalism and theft of railway assets has been a major cause of distraction to the railway network (e.g. theft of copper cables). The group has begun searching for solutions to the railway problems.
10.11.2020. The Nyanga policing forum says that the city’s failure to maintain roads in Nyanga, Philippi and Crossroads has contributed to increased levels of car hijacking and smash and grabs (also caused by the throwing of water for washing clothes). It has prohibited firefighters, ambulances and police cars from accessing the areas, e.g. due to ambulances getting robbed.
9.9.2020. A schoolgirl in Nyanga has started an ehailing taxi service for women only with the aim of providing safe transport for women. The company has started operating at the end of August
8.9.2020. The president of Santaco says that there is a lack of political will to formalise the taxi industry which leads to more killings. More than 50 people have been murdered at ranks since the start of 2020. Often the perpetrators are not arrested by the police.
4.9.2020. A study by Western Cape government and Institute for Security Studies (ISS) researchers shows that when lockdown restrictions were eased in Cape Town (a focus on Khayelitsha, Delft and Philippi (inclusive of Hanover Park)), murders have increased.
3.9.2020. Metrorail temporarily suspended its services due to power supply issues.
A bicycle hub in Langa offers food deliveries, including delivering food to patients with covid-19. The hub has been refurbishing old bicycles, and they are keen to see more women and children on bicycles.
A south African electric scooter company has launched its services in September 2020. It works through a mobile application, similar to uber.
Draft report 18 August to 1 September
South Africa, Cape Town.
Current cases: (1.9.2020): 627,041
Current deaths: (1.9.2020): 14,149
25.8.2020. Four airports have been permitted to operate in other areas of South Africa (not Cape Town).Busses, shuttle busses, scholar transport, mini-busses and midi-busses can operate at 100% on trips less than 200 km. Mini-busses and midi-busses can operate at 70% for trips over 200 km.
24.8.2020. Pupils from grade R, 1,2,4,6,9,10,11 return to the classrooms as well as those in schools of skills years (1.2,3). The last cohort will return at the end of August.
20.8.2020. The premier of western Cape, Alan Winde, holds cabinet meetings focusing on unemployment, hunger and poverty. He encourages locals to support small businesses following the move to Level 2.
18.8. 2020: The Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizel condems the attacks on golden arrow busses (5 different busses have been attacked in 2 weeks).
Bonginkosi Madikizel meets with taxi operators following incidences of shootings with the aim of increasing security measures at Bellville and other taxi ranks. He made it clear that the people who had the right to operate on the Bellville-Paarl route were the only ones allowed to operate. Police and traffic authorities should identify illegally operating vehicles and restore order on conflict-ridden routes and ranks.
18.8.2020: Level 2 of the lockdown is taken into action on the 18.8.2020 starting from midnight. This means that public parks and beaches will reopen. The ban of the sales of alcohol and tobacco has been lifted. If people do not wear a mask they can be denied access to public transport. All residents must stay at home between 10 pm and 4 am (curfew). Social gatherings are limited to 10 people, religious gatherings/funeral attendance/theatres, weddings, sporting events, live performances to 50 people or less (link in previous report)
29.8.2020. Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA) CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa says that opening international borders could salvage the tourism industry which plays a major part in the South African economy.
28.8.2020. Metrorail says that it cannot state when the busiest line (central line) will resume due to theft and vandalism during lockdown. The central line serves the poorest communities: Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga and Bonteheuwe.
The Ctrack SA managing director Hein Jordt says that the freight sector is far from recovery. The activity has declined by 1.7 per cent in July due to covid-19.
26.8.2020. The Bellville Taxi Rank was closed on the 26 August due to safety concerns following a report of a shooting that could not be confirmed.
25.8.2020. Six busses have been stones in Atlantis, and the attacks are said to be linked to the taxi operators.
A survey finds that covid-19 is widening the gender gap with women being particularly vulnerable. Daniela Casale says that the NIDS-Cram survey revealed that women lost their jobs faster than men during lockdown and also had to manage childcare due to school closure
24.8.2020. Metrorail is expected to resume its operations on the Cape Flats Train service.
The Mitchell’s Plain scholar transport project says that taxi drivers transporting children to school are left without an income during the covid-19 pandemic. As children are only going to school some days a week, and parents sometimes drive them themselves during the pandemic, taxi drivers lose out on their income and sometimes go without food.
The two operators, the SA National Small Bus Operators Council (Sanboc) and the Southern African Bus Operators Council (Saboa) are in a dispute with the Western Cape Education department over a relief fund. They have expressed their concern about a salary drop and their disappointment that they have been left in the dark about the reintroduction of the return following school closures.
The City’s Safety and Security Directorate intends to increase its fleet in the next year to guarantee quicker response and visibility.
19.8.2020. The Golden Arrow bus company says that they have spent an excess of R19m in order to replace busses that are damaged by criminals. A R200.000 reward is being offered for information about these attacks.
A Mayco member for safety and security says that police investigations/prosecutions are needed to reduce public violence across Cape Town.
17.8.2020: The bus company golden arrow pleads the police for help following an attack on Monday when bus drivers and Cape Town’s fire rescue officers came under attack.
Draft report 1-17 August 2020.
South Africa, Cape Town
Current cases in country (17.8.2020): 587,345
Current deaths in country (17.8.2020): 11,839
17.8.2020. Announcement: Level 2 of the lockdown is taken into action on the 18.8.2020 starting from midnight. This means that public parks and beaches will reopen. The ban of the sales of alcohol and tobacco has been lifted. If people do not wear a mask they can be denied access to public transport. All residents must stay at home between 10 pm and 4 am (curfew). Social gatherings are limited to 10 people, religious gatherings/funeral attendance/theatres, weddings, sporting events, live performances to 50 people or less.
16.8.2020. The Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela will meet with taxi industry leaders following shootings at Belville Taxi rank. The violence is meant to be caused by ongoing feuds between taxi operators.
The city wants residents to walk more when possible. The city of Cape Town plans to expand pedestrian walkways with 2 years. This will focus on 34 streets.
14.8.2020. If passengers in a vehicle are not wearing masks, drivers can be fined R1000 (open to interpretation when same household). If approached by a police officer, all passengers must wear masks.
13.8.2020. The South African president has extended the state of disaster until 15.8.2020. More freedom is expected under level 2. Most sectors are expected to reopened, but with people wearing masks, physical distancing and hand sanitising. The cabinet has been advised to lift the ban on selling alcohol but with restrictions of how much they can buy. The opposition party leader John Steenhuisen said in a statement that the ban on selling alcohol and tobacco should be lifted, schools and borders should be opened, and the state of disaster ended.
3.8.2020. The transport department has released its plans for the upcoming national taxi indaba (meeting) that will focus on converting taxi businesses into corporate entities. The taxi operators are urged to enforce a code of conduct for operators – e.g. focusing on non-compliance and legally binding mechanisms for a single industry representative body. This will also include severe penalties for taxi operators involved in conflict. The National Taxi allowance spokesperson has welcomed the indaba arguing that the government should modernize the taxi industry that is affected by violence, drug dealing, alcohol and prostitution especially at taxi ranks. The spokesperson said that the government needs to build health facilities, police stations, traffic departments and creches near ranks.
The Southern Line in Cape Town is operating but with reduced services. They have temperature checks and signs that remind passengers of physical distancing. Travelling is only permitted between 4 am and 10 pm.Minibus takes are still allowed to load at 100% of their passenger capacity and 70 % for longer distance trips. MiCity busses, GABS buses, ehailing services and metered taxis can now load 100% of their passengers. Domestic flights have started (at Cape Town international airport + two other airports in other cities) but under strict conditions. All travellers have to wear face masks, and temperature checks will take place when entering the terminal building. Travelling between provinces for leasure is not allowed, but this can be done within a province.
4.8.2020. The fund awarding unemployment insurance fund grants is still processing a new covid temporary employee/employer relief scheme for April and May 2020. The new extended period will end on the 15 August.
14.8.2020. Three Golden Arrow busses have been set alight by protesters, and the N2 has been blocked temporarily. No injuries were reported but the busses were severely damaged. Two taxi operators were wounded following two shooting incidents at Bellville taxi rank.
12.8.2020: Transnet have dismantled a command centre it set up in earlier stages of the lockdown and has instead made it part of regular operations – for freight and transport operations.
6.8.2020: Protests have taken place in Cape Town (Philippi East, Kraaifontein and Hout Bay). A Golden Arrow Bus and small businesses were torched, and the police had stones thrown at the them. The protests are said to be caused by lack of electricity and jobs.
The deal between the city and the Golden Arrow Bus service to have law enforcing officers on busses is non-existent, according to Sisonke Mlamla, who wrote an article in Capeargus. Crime against passengers and bus personnel continues.
5.8.2020: From the 6.5.2020 to the 28.7.2020, 28.329 excess deaths have been recorded, largely due to covid-19. A report conducted by researchers at SAMRC and UCT Centre for Actuarial Research highlights that one of the reasons for excess deaths is due to people not reaching health clinics on time, caused by e.g. lack of transport, delayed transport or hospitals being unable to receive them.
4.8.2020: The port of Cape Town has all its marine crew back on duty and continues to ramp up operations.
Draft report 18.7.2020-31.7.2020
South Africa – Cape Town
Current cases in South Africa [31.7.2020]: 482, 169
Current deaths in South Africa [31.7.2020]: 7812
31.7.2020. 10.000 informal traders will in the coming weeks be given tool hits to prevent the spread of covid-19. 3 litres of hand sanitizer, ‘a social distancing mat’, two cloth masks, a tool kit bag and a beanie with information correct use. The first phrase of beneficiaries include those who live in the worst hotspot areas. Those who are in possession of permits will be contacted via sms to hear if they are interested in collecting the tool kits.
29.7.2020. On Wednesday the 29.7.2020 the city of Cape Town announced that they will update informal settlements. The council wants to build 400 houses for a disadvantaged community.
26.7.2020. The Cape Coloured People’s Congress says it plans to shut down operations (eg. the metro) due to poor service delivery in coloured communities and unemployment. The major of Cape Town, Plato says that the police must stop the organisers in their attacks.
27.7.2020. Protests are taking place in Cape Town. A group called Gatvol Capetonian at the metro, but other protests took place in other parts of the city – they are protesting to raise awareness of backyard dweller’s plight. Some roads have been closed.
25.7.2020. A shopright truck was petrol bombed. Protests are taking place, and vehicles are being stoned. The protests are reportedly related to land invasion.
Draft report 4.7.2020-17.7.2020
Current cases 17.7.2020: 324,221
Current deaths 17.7.2020:4669
13.7.2020. The Minister of social development Lindiwe Zulu makes a statement about the payment of the Special Covid-19 Relief of distress grant. They have received over 7.5 million of applications through USSD, digital, whatsapp and email. 4.423720 of these have been approved. Lindiwe Zulu has announced a universal income grant to help the country’s unemployed. She did not say what the size of it would be or how it would be funded, but is expected to be paid post October 2020. This is still not approved.
13.7.2020. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on the 12 July in the evening that there is a ban on alcohol sales and distribution, as well as a curfew from 21:00 to 04:00. Taxis can operate at 100% capacity over short distances and at 70% capacity over long distances. Taxi drivers are responsible that passengers wear masks. All non-essential movement is not allowed during the curfew. Those travelling during these times must have a permit that verifies that they are performing an essential service. It is required to wear a mask or cloth to cover the nose and mouth in public.
7.7.20. Taxi violence in Western Cape has claimed the lives of 40 operators since January. Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela held a meeting on the 6. July with the taxi associations yesterday in an attempt to resolve the shootings. The article in Cape Times has no mention of covid in relation to this. The national Joint Operational and intelligence structure made up of various government departments issued directions to law enforcement agencies that the national truck shutdown should be policed efficiently.
15.7.2020. Professor Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand says that the government’s new approach that allows taxis to operate at 100% capacity is not backed up by science. Madhi is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) but did not speak on behalf of this.
A survey has been conducted in Cape Town (Nids gram survey) during lockdown. It reports a significant increase in hunger and unemployment (3 million jobs lost and 1.5 million workers furloughed).
14.7.2020. My city bus fares have reduced since the introduction of covid-19 due to the drop for fuel worldwide. A monthly pass is reduced fromR850 to R790. Micity busses are limited to 50% capacity.
13.7.2020 The South African Bus operators’ associations (SABOA) says that it costs about 1.3 million rand every day for the contracted public bus transport sector to adhere to the hygiene and safety procedures implemented during covid-19. There are 7500 contracted busses. The manager says that SABOA has requested financial assistance from the government. Saboa is involved with the national, economic and labour council/Business for Africa in finding equitable relief measures for the industry but no aid package has been approved.
11.7.2020. There have been violent attacks against freight road operators in the last few weeks in Cape Town. The attacks have been condemned by the government.
8.7.2020. The website cape Talk reports that traffic on weekdays has recovered to 65% of normal levels- an increase since May (40%)
1.7.2020. Metrorail started operating at limited services in Western Cape -96 days after it stopped its service.
Draft report 23.6.2020-3.7.2020
Current cases (3.7.2020): 168.061
Current deaths (3.7.2020): 2844
1 July: South Africa’s health minister warns that they might reinstate the lockdown if the coronavirus cases/deaths continue to rise.
23 June: The Transport and Public works MEC, Bongingkosi Madikizela met local taxi industry role players at a taxi rank and said that Santaco (the South African National Taxi council) had agreed not to advise its members to go on strike because the transport and public works department was engaging with them in good faith. According to Bongingkosi a relief fund for the taxi industry is insufficient and was not intended to compensate for loss of income. He said that grants could be utilized through Red Dot system launched on the 18 May, a system that transports health care workers. Santaco, in western Cape, has agreed that they will not hike fares for commuters, since they are transporting the poorest of the poor.
30 June: The South African transport and allied worker’s union (SATAWU) in Western Cape has said that employees working for the bus company Golden Arrow fear that 300 of them will be fired. The union representative said that five transport workers at Golden Arrow have died and 100 infected.
29 June: Taxi operators (the South African National Taxi Council and the National Taxi allowance) have decided to go against lockdown rules and fill their taxies to 100% capacity on Monday the 29 June 2020. They are not happy that airlines can fill their planes, whereas they can’t fill their vehicles. Western Cape National taxi council announced that they have lost a lot of income due to the pandemic.
24 June: Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT) restores its berthing ‘gangs’ to five following staff shortage after covid.
21 June: On Saturday the 20 June Micity busses were stoned and set alight by protesters in Cape Town (Milnerton and Dunoon)
10 June: Santaco (South Africa National Taxi allowance) will hold a press briefing on the 15June and will discuss fare increases. Initial reports on a massive protest to be held on the 22 June remains unconfirmed.
19 June: In a video, residents of Kayelitsha, one of Cape Town’s townships, explain the fear of entering taxis, touching surfaces and standing in lines without social distancing. https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/watch-masks-taxis-and-fear-how-covid-19-has-changed-khayelitsha-20200619
Draft report 6.6.-23.6.2020
Current cases (23.6.2020): 101,590
Current deaths (23.6.2020): 1,991
21-22.6.2020. Thousands of taxi commuters are left stranded in Gauteng due to a lockdown and a taxi strike after a stalemate with the government over a covid-19 relief packing. The police are throwing rubber bullets due to protests. Taxi ranks are still open in Cape Town but not in Gauteng. The government condemns the violence.
19.6.2020. Exercise is permitted at all time in South Africa which was previously restricted to certain times of the day. People are still encouraged to stay at home, and have to wear a mask when they go out. Parks, beaches and other public places remain closed in Cape Town.
15.6.2020. The minister for women, youth and persons with disabilities recommends people to have a friend or relative to call if they need help and create a code to get in contact with a safe person. The minister urges communities to work with the police to report tip-offs.
13.6.2020: The minister for women, youth and persons with disabilities speaks up about gender-based violence in South Africa and the need for action. She mentions that the Cabinet approved the gender-based violence Policy Framework in Post-School Education and Training System. The incoming council is setting up a gender-based violence fund.
12.6.2020. The department of transport intends to take over the functioning of the public transport networks that are struggling in five cities. This includes mainly bus transit systems (BRTs). They are also looking at high speed rail systems.
16.6.2020. Families are spending 30 % more on food, and many families run short of food within 2 weeks, a researcher (Julie Smith) highlights on a radio show. The minimal wages are R3247 and the cost of a food basket is slightly more. The lockdown is affecting women and young people in particular. They can no longer shop in several shops to save money but due to transport regulations, they must stick to one shop.
15.6.2020 Gender based violence and killings have increased during lockdown especially against women and children.
An article (in Good governance Africa – gga) highlights the constitutional issues that have issues following police arrests. Most of the lockdown regulations issued by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma were declared unlawful in terms of the Disaster Management Act, and the minister now has to review and amend this.
10 June. The airports are working on extra security when international travel opens beyond business travel. This will involve travellers scanning their own boarding passes and handling their own luggage when being scanned
Draft report 23.5-5.6.2020
Confirmed cases (5.6.2020): 40,792
Confirmed deaths (5.6.2020): 848
1.6.2020. Businesses can operate and workers can travel to and from work. Employers have to issue permits when employees have to travel to hot spots, e.g. travelling between provinces, metropolitan areas and hotspots but this is a cautious approach. Businesses and institutions with more than 100 employees have to minimize workers at the workplace, e.g. by introducing shifts and the rotation of workers. The president announced that the country will go from level 4 to level 3 on the first of June. Following this, there are changes in the transport sector. Long distance public transport will be allowed to operate as there will an increase of learners returning to school. Such travel is restricted to people undertaking work permitted under alert level 3. Persons who are moving to a new place of residence. Those who are caring for immediate family members. Learners who are returning to schools or higher learning institutions. The movement of children. Members of parliament performing oversight duties. The attendance of funeral. Transportation of mortals remains. Transport for obtaining medical treatment is allowed. Transport for persons returning to their place of residence from a quarantine facility. Public transport is permitted throughout the day but some restrictions are in place. Minibus-taxis can take 70% of their loading capacity. Buses must take only 50% of their loading capacity, taking standing passengers into account. E-hailing and metred taxis, shuttle, chauffer and charter services can take 50% of their capacity. Only vessels that bring in cargo are permitted to operate at the ports. Limited domestic air travel will be allowed. International travel is prohibited
3.6. 2020. Bolt reduces it transport fares to receive more customers (email advertising).
3.6. 2020.Yebo fresh (a local delivery service) is helping townships access food
25.5.2020. The lift of the e-commerce ban has been a lifeline for contactless drivers doing deliveries.
Draft report 9.5-22.5.2020
Current cases (22.5.2020): 19.137
Current deaths (22.5.2020): 369
21.5.2020: The city of Cape Town’s homepage describes the following measures when taking public transport. You should not travel if you are ‘vulnerable’ (ill or 60 years and above). You should avoid contact with others and stay 2 metres apart. You should wear a mask, open the windows to allow air to circulate the vehicle, avoid touching surfaces e.g. handrails and doors, use exact money for bus fares as well as hygiene measures – washing your hands, sneezing into a tissue/elbow and hand washing.
The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) and SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) have welcomed proposed financial support by the government to the taxi industry during the lockdown.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said he would outline his plans next week on how the government would financially support the industry during the lockdown.
19.5.2020: A red dot taxi service is launched to provide transport for health care workers – comprising 100 minibuses. They will follow strict safety/hygiene protocols
15.5. 2020:Screening and testing measures have been introduced at MyCiti and Golden Arrow Bus service depots for staff, along with putting up lines for social distance adhering at 42 public transport interchanges across the city. Members of the committee on governance and traditional affairs held a meeting with the metros. The committee members appealed to the metros to ensure hard monitoring
11.5.2020. A website outlines what employers must do during covid19. The department of corporative governance published the following rules on the 29 April. The employers must provide safe transport for employees including: personal hygiene, social distancing, arrangements to minimize exposure associated with commuting (cloth masks and PPE)
Draft report 25.4.2020-8.5.2020
8.4.2020. Cases: 8232. Deaths 161.
1.5.2020. South Africa has moved to level 4 of the lockdown. This means that local transport allowed to operate but social distancing measures apply, and with a restricted number of passengers. Rail, ocean, and road transport is permitted for cargo. Repatriation flights will be allowed. For people in the catering sector, they can do deliveries only. People are allowed to leave their house between 6 am and 9 am for exercise in their neighbourhood, and there will be a night curfew between 8 pm and 5 am. Businesses can resume, e.g. mines, factories and agricultural businesses, but they can start with only a third of their employees. South African citizens can return home on repatriation flights but need to be quarantined. Postal services and courier services are allowed.
No crowds are allowed. Hairdressers, hotels and guesthouses cannot start their businesses. The ban on international and domestic flight travel remains. Recreational visits are not allowed. No travel between provinces is permitted, except if there are exceptional circumstances. Schools are still shut, but should reopen on the 1 June (grade 7-12 only).Facemasks are mandatory in public.
28 April: Violent crime, and traffic accidents drop most likely due to restrictions on movement and the ban of the sale of alcohol. Domestic violence increases. People in poor neighbourhoods struggle to find food. Charitable individuals trying to deliver food experience harassment from the police.
Draft report 11.4-24.4.2020
3953 cases 24.4.2020
75 deaths 24.4.2020
23 April: The president announced that the lockdown will move from stage 5 to stage 4 on 1 May allowing some businesses to open, and people to go for a walk, under strict measures. More will be updated later on this issue, as the discussions are still taking place.
21 April: The president announced a 500 billion rand ($26.3 billion) rescue package equivalent to 10% of the GDP. 250,000 food parcels will be distributed in the coming weeks.
16 April: The minister of Cooperative Governance made some amendments to the regulations allowing the transport of essential goods and cargo.
10 April. The decision to extend South Africa’s lockdown until the end of April will create an economic disaster, the main opposition party has warned.
7 April. The minister of transport has announced:
(1) A public transport sedan is limited to carrying not more than 50% of its
permissible passenger carrying capacity.
(2) During the lockdown period, the following public transport vehicles must
not carry more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger seating
capacity as follows:
(a) A minibus licensed to carry 10 passengers, is limited to carry a
maximum of 7 passengers;
(b) a minibus licensed to carry 15 passengers, is limited to carry the
maximum of 10 passengers; and
(c) a minibus licensed to carry a maximum of 22 passengers, is
limited to carry a maximum of 15 passengers.
(3) All public transport operators must put measures in place to adhere to
social distancing to curb the spread of COVID -19.
Draft report 1.4-10.4.
Current cases (10.4. 2020). 2003. Deaths 24.
8.4.2020. The president is waiting for scientific evidence to make the decision about whether the lockdown should be extended beyond 16 April.
6.4.2020. Nothing but essential movement is permitted. There is a ban on buying alcohol and cigarettes. No jogging, dog walking or leaving the home except for essential trips is allowed. Prison and fines for law breaking.
3.4. 2020. More than 17.000 have been arrested for defying the lockdown restrictions
2.4.2020. Essential workers still need to travel and rely on transportation. On Wednesday the 1.4. the transport minister allowed the taxis to load at full capacity, but later in the evening took this out of effect (now 70% capacity)
25.4.2020. Our in-country team sends material about one of the townships we worked in. There seems to be no government intervention so far (the link not included due to our need to preserve the anonymity of our research sites)
Draft report 1.3-31.3.2020
30.3. 2020: 1280 cases. From the 30.3 to the 3.4. busses and taxis will be allowed to operate to cater for the most vulnerable from 5 am to 8 am. (e.g. child grants and grants for the elderly).
23.3.2020. The president announced a national lockdown. No one can leave their homes for 21 days unless under strictly controlled circumstances, including seeking medical care, buying food, medicine or other supplies and collecting social grants. Health workers, emergency personnel and security services (police, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers) are exempted from the lockdown. It will still be possible to get grants (selected days), and homeless shelters and food banks will be available. Pharmacies, banks, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers will remain open “non-essential shops will be closed.
20.3.2020. The president announced that foreign nationals travelling from Italy, Iran, South Korea, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and China have been banned from travelling to South Africa. Anyone returning to South Africa from these high-risk countries will be quarantined for 14 days.
19.3. 2020. The minister of transport said the number of people in trains will have to be reduced, and trains might be stopped at a later stage if necessary. There should be no more than 100 people in a space. Universities and schools have closed. This will involve students travelling home
16.3. 2020. The government will strengthen surveillance, screening and testing measures at OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports. Of the 53 land ports, 35 have been shut. 2 of the 8 seaports will be closed for passengers and crew changes.
16.3.2020. The Cross-border road transport agency (C-BRTA) will ensure screening of truck drivers at in-land borders.
15.3.2020. The South African president said the country is in a state of national disaster. The minister of transport announced the requirement to keep both international and national travel to a minimum (air, rail, taxis, bus]. Travel to work is allowed currently. He said the government will be sanitizing trains, mini-busses and plans and giving surgical masks to staff members. Every train to be cleaned at the end of a trip.
20. 3.2020: South African Airways cancels all international flights
19.3. 2020. The national taxi alliance are requesting proper entrance systems at taxi ranks and financial support.The NTA are partnering with an organisation (Onqela [spelling unknown] 24.22 in podcast link below]) that developed an app that could inform passengers about corona. The NTA is engaging with taxi owners, and wants to teach the public that they have to maintain distance. Drivers are being encouraged by NTA to put on masks and gloves and sanitize vehicles. Passenger should bring exact fare and pay outside the bus to limit infection.
19.3.2020. Uber and Bolt have closed service centres, and encourage drivers to clean cars and hands. However, according to a radio show, uber/bolt refused to appear on a radio show unlike the taxi and train association, and had not given any recommendations to drivers, nor provided equipment.
16.3.2020. The in country-fieldwork had to stop, as it involved face-to-face contact with vulnerable groups. The national lockdown now also means no one will be allowed to move around for these purposes anymore.
12.3.2020: South African airways crew give out masks to passengers displaying symptoms, and the airline staff use gloves.