With millions of citizens set to return to work, school and institutions of higher learning when the country moves to COVID-19 lockdown level 3; Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced that public transport will operate throughout the day.

However, capacity restrictions remain, with minibus taxis still only permitted a 70% loading capacity.

Buses are still expected to adhere to a maximum loading capacity of 50%, taking due regard of standing passengers.

This will also be the case for e-hailing and metred taxis, as well as shuttle, chauffer and charter services.

Briefing media on the regulations under level 3 on Saturday (May 30), Mbalula said the condition for such operation is that public transport vehicles are only permitted to transport persons permitted to travel between provinces, in terms of the regulations.

Such travel is only restricted to:

  • Persons undertaking work responsibilities or performing a service permitted under level 3, provided they are in possession of the requisite permit.
  • Persons moving to a new place of residence.
  • Persons caring for an immediate family member.
  • Learners or students who have to commute to and from schools or institutions of higher learning during periods when schools or institutions are permitted to operate.
  • Attendance of funerals.
  • Transportation of mortal remains.
  • Obtaining medical treatment.
  • Persons returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility.
  • Permitted/authorised movement of children; and
  • Members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities.

Maritime transport

Regarding maritime transport, Mbalula said restrictions remain on the movement of ships.

However, full operations for the Port of Mossel Bay and Port of Saldanha Bay for movement of cargo will now be permitted.

“Furthermore, allowance will be made for South African registered seafarers to embark and disembark ships, with a mandatory quarantine for those returning.

“The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) shall be directed to issue a Marine Notice to this effect,” said Mbalula.

Aviation

Level 3 will see domestic air travel resume, but only limited to business purposes. This, said the Minister, will also be subject to restrictions on the number of flights per day and authorisation based on the reason for travel.

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