Since the strict lockdown rule were put in place taxi organisations across the country have taken measures to keep their ranks clean and sanitinised to protect commuters from infectious Covid-19 pandemic.
Everyday the Congress of Democratic Taxis Associations (Codeta) executive member Vincent Mtati marshalls a team 15 of rank staffers to sanitise more that 500 taxis that depart from Site C’s Kuwait Taxi-one of the largest ranks in the region.
On some days the volunteers are joined by a workforce from Medicens Sans Frontiere (MSF), who on top of helping with sanitising are spreading the message about the HIV pandemic, whilst encouraging commuters to carry out personal tests.
Mtati said they ensure that the more than 500 taxis are regularly sanitised during the lockdown.
“Rank staff are on hand to ensure that all passengers and drivers are wearing masks and have had their hands sprayed with hand sanitiser. We have also taken measures to educate passengers and drivers to make sure they know the dangers of this virus and how to prevent it,” said Mtati.
Codeta chairman Vusumzi Lennox Miselo said as an organisation they are following calls made by government to ensure that safety of the public was guaranteed.
“This pandemic affects all of us and we need to make sure that we tackle it at all levels. Sanitising our ranks and making sure no one boards our taxis without mask. Our drivers are doing all they can to obey and be our Covid-19 ambassadors,” said Miselo.
Phumeza Runeyi from MSF said they were delighted when the taxi association invited them to be part of this campaign. “We are seeing a lot of understanding from the people , yes they fear Covid-19 but they are now understanding the messages we bring about: #StayAtHome, #WashYourHands. The reality is that this virus will be here for sometime and our people must do as they are told by authorities,” said Runeyi.
Former councillor Tandeka Gqada, who now works in the private sector, was impressed when he visited Codeta’s offices for a meeting with the chairman.
“I was not expecting this level of precaution here, they sanitize you before you enter the office and the office is kept very clean.With this level of preparedness
I think they will play a large role in combating the scourge of the virus,” said Tandeka.
After they are done with the Site C rank, they board their own taxi visiting nearby ranks where they disinfect more taxis. Mtati said they have receiving positive feedback from the passengers.
“If they see that rules are broken they come back and complain to use,” he said. He added that sanitisation project entails the following elements:
• Redesigning the floor space at the taxi rank to ensure social distancing
• Checking if the installation of technological systems support sanitisation and the checking of body temperature to aid government efforts to fight Covid-19
• Introducing appointed taxi rank management committees to assist with Covid-19 enforcement
• Sanitization of commuters at each loading bay
• Disinfection of taxis
• Up-scaling of the taxi rank cleaning programme