Johannesburg – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says his department is concerned with the high number of people who fail to adhere to lockdown regulations as hundreds of motorists attempt to cross provincial borders without permits.
Mbalula said law enforcement was hard at work dealing with transgressors. There have been 146 roadblocks held over the past week, 17 395 vehicles were stopped. The following number of provinces saw several people attempting to leave the province;
* Gauteng was the biggest culprit with 231 vehicles,
* Mpumalanga at 86 and
* 24 in the Eastern Cape.
Mbalula said it was unclear where these people were going.
Other transgressors include the following; drivers arrested for not sanitising their cars, carrying far too many passengers and operating at over 70% capacity which is against the law.
Mbalula stressed that operating hours for public transport will remain at 5 am to 10 am and 4 pm until 10 pm.
Mbalula said the country’s airspace remains closed and that only aeroplanes with the required permission will go ahead would be allowed to leave the country’s airports.
The minister said he has noted the criticism about the tweaking of legislation and that it goes against the aim of fighting the Covid-19 coronavirus. He said the country had special socio-economic issues and that needed to be considered when adjustments were being made.
"We have noted what was raised. We took that decision (to adjust taxi operations) to alleviate the pain for the taxi industry on fueling the car and paying the drivers. We are looking to relief for taxi operators," Mbalula said.
The Minister of Energy Gwede Mantashe said he was concerned that some within the mining sector were no adhering to regulations relating to the lockdown as some health measures were not in place.
He said that the industry had recorded three infections; one each in Gauteng, Western Cape and Mpumalanga.
Mantashe said he would be meeting with stakeholders, both unions and managers of mines, next week. The mining operations that were still operational were to supply coal to Eskom. Other mining sectors such as gold and iron were operational but at a scaled-down rate.