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Coronavirus - South africa: Minister Fikile Mbalula provides day 3 update on implementation of transport regulations during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

Coronavirus - South africa: Minister Fikile Mbalula provides day 3 update on implementation of transport regulations during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

1. Law enforcement:

  • Law enforcers to increase deployment at Lebombo and monitor all roadblocks towards the borders to ensure that vehicles desist from approaching the port of entry.
  • A monitoring and evaluation team will visit the roadblocks to ensure compliance.
  • Traffic Law enforcement from lockdown to date: 34 roadblocks have been conducted, resulting into 2 117 vehicles being stopped and checked and 229 notices have been issued out for various offences and 13 vehicles have been discontinued, while 26 public transport vehicles were impounded.

2. Compliance issues:

Roads

  • Reports indicate that taxis in the Eastern Cape Aliwal North around Hertzog bridge are operating outside the allocated operational hours.
  • Concerns have been raised about taxis ferrying passengers to the Lebombo Border and becoming problematic once permission to cross the border is denied.
  • Taxis still overloaded at Bloed taxi rank. Law enforcement assisted by SANTACO members intervened and offloaded some of the taxis.
  • A taxi was overloaded on the M10 and R 55 and the vehicle was impounded while the passengers were escorted to Midstream.
  • In Mpumalanga a taxi driver was arrested at Kaapmuiden Police Station and another three drivers were arrested at Komatipoort SAPS for non-compliance of COVID 19 regulations.
  • Media reports indicate tension between the Department of Transport and the Taxi industry. Taxi associations are withholding their services in parts of the country.
  • A number of essential services staff have noted an increase in taxi fare as a result of the regulations.
  • Two bus drivers from Zimbabwean owned bus companies are still resisting travel regulations and insist on crossing the Beitbridge border into Zimbabwe. They indicated to SAPS that they did not have funds to turn back to their original place of embarkation (Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively). SAPS out of their own coffers gave them R1500 for fuel and the buses were escorted from Musina to Polokwane and passengers were given their passports back. However, since yesterday the buses have been at Polokwane police station and refusing to turn back. The buses tried to cross the border after the lockdown was implemented. There are children in these buses
  • Toll operators have complained about being defined as an essential service.
  • The SADC harmonization document is still in draft so member states have no formal agreement to adhere to on the border, Zambia side, Livingstone. All South African drivers are being quarantined for 14 days, without screening. South African trucks have been detained. Drivers are allegedly kept in inhumane conditions.

Maritime

  • The last passenger vessel scheduled to visit South African shores is The Amsterdam. The said vessel is estimated to arrive off Durban, on 05 April 2020, at about 05h00. More details about the vessel will follow in due course, however SAMSA officials and the Durban Joint Operations Committee (JOC) have started communicating with the Ship Agent and the Ship Master to provide guidance and gather information e.g. health and safety status of the vessel, SA persons onboard the vessel, etc. SAMSA is reporting that there is still no clear directive on how to process Passenger Vessels requiring assistance e.g. refueling, supplies, humanitarian assistance, etc.
  • The vessel remains anchored off the Port of Durban, with 264 passengers and 1215 crew. Twenty- seven (27) passengers onboard the vessel presented with “flu-like” symptoms, and the affected passengers have undergone testing. As at the time of reporting, the results of 17 selected passengers came out negative, now awaiting test results of the remaining 10 passengers. This information will be shared as soon as the test results become available.
  • Currently, there is no known means of dealing with SA Seafarers (technical or Hospitality) signing off on foreign ships abroad: SAMSA is awaiting a protocol from the DoT and DIRCO on how to deal with that scenario.
  • South African Seafarers returning home on board ships already on the SA coastline: currently crew changes are not allowed. South Africans on the Queen Mary 2 are still stuck aboard the ship, at the Port of Durban. It is suggested that South African citizens be allowed to disembark the ship and follow the already established disembarkation process led by Port Health.

Aviation

  • IATA and AASA wrote directly to the Ministry of Transport, calling on the Minister to relax the regulations and directives in relation to: Foreign Crew; Safety and Security of Flight Operations and the Repatriation of SA citizens and Foreign Nationals. The matter is being attended to at Ministry level.

3. Internal issues:

  • Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has issued transport directives to extend public transport travel times for social grant beneficiaries during the national lockdown. The Communication Team must anticipate an eventful morning on 30 March 2020.

4. Escalated issues

  • IATA and AASA’s letter to the Ministry of Transport, calling on the Minister to relax the regulations and directives.
  • SAMSA’s request for clarity regarding SA Seafarers signing off on foreign ships abroad, how to process Passenger Vessels requiring assistance and South African Seafarers returning home on board ships already on the SA Coastline.
  • South African drivers quarantined in inhumane conditions for 14 days, without screening and South African trucks being detained.

5. Resolved issues

  • Collection of Social Grants Transport Arrangements
  • The SACAA has reported industry queries from an operator (NAC) requesting to reposition an aircraft from Afghanistan to Johannesburg with 4 staff members. The SACAA advised NAC that this type of flight does not fall under the emergency category and therefore cannot be allowed. For further assistance they were referred to DIRCO.

Definitions:

Law enforcement: Law enforcement operations currently underway

Compliance issues: Instances where there is a lack of compliance to regulations

Internal issues: Nerve centre related issues that required urgent intervention

Escalated issues: Issues escalated to the dg for his attention & intervention

Resolved issues: Issues that occurred earlier but have since been resolved


Issued by: 
Department of Transport
 


Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.South African Government
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