The City of Ekurhuleni has vowed to strictly ensure that all regulations relating to taxi operators are respected and implemented for the duration of the Covid-19 enforced lockdown period.
Acting mayor and Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance, Doctor Xhakaza, said the municipality wanted to ensure that the industry was complying with the law.
Xhakaza spoke to News24 at the Sangweni taxi rank in Tembisa, where the Gauteng government launched its partnership programme with the private sector to disinfect and sanitise all taxi ranks and taxis in the province.
Xhakaza said Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department officers are getting their instructions from national government’s Joint Operations Centre (JOC).
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“EMPD officers are jointly working with SAPS to ensure that we enforce the Covid-19 regulations. Leaders of taxi associations are being used to communicate our message to their drivers.
“We will continue to do our operations and roadblocks to enforce the regulations. What is important is for the taxi industry to support us and come to the party and cooperate with us,” Xhakaza said.
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He said as the City was in constant communication with Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on new directives and regulations.
“Ours is to interface continuously with the taxi industry because all the ranks are owned and managed by the City, although [they were] handed over to the taxi industry to operate from them.
“It is us who must make sure that there is proper water and sanitation in our ranks, because that is where the majority of our commuters are transiting to various places.
“It is a critical transit point that we must ensure is properly sanitised… Ours is to strengthen and intensify the relationship with taxi industry and to educate them.
“It is also to appreciate where we are calling the private sector, because government alone will not be able to win this fight. We need private sector to pull their resources and are very happy with the number of private stakeholders that came on board to ensure these measures are effective,” said Xhakaza.