SA’s Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula has paid a second visit to the Rea Vaya Dobsonville depot after receiving complaints from citizens that the bus service was “not complying with social distancing on buses”. “We are happy that there is compliance with regards to the buses and social distancing. This is our new way of doing things,” he said.
After meeting the managers, it was agreed that Rea Vaya would address the issue “immediately”. Benny Makgoga, Rea Vaya bus service Spokesperson also highlighted that all the buses parked at the depot were washed and sanitized with a chemical that lasted 24 hours.Makgoga said buses were being washed twice a day by at least 60 staff members. “This way we also created more jobs”.
To ensure commuters are adhering to Covid-19 safety regulations, passengers are told that if they do not have masks, then there will not be allowed to ride on the bus and are also being checked if they have permits. According to Makgoga, “At the stations, there were demarcations a metre apart to help people keep their distance. Inside the buses, one seat in every row was marked with a red “no sitting” cross allowing only one passenger for every two seats”.
“We must ensure that our transport system is compliant. Transport can either be a transmitter of good health or it can be a transmitter of coronavirus said,” added Mbalula. Johannesburg Mayor, Geoff Makhubo said he would be meeting Mbalula’s office to address the issue of capacity. “Our communities don’t understand because they want to enter the buses in numbers and it is causing social distancing problems,” he added.