Search for a story:
News - Date: 22 January 2021
Written by: Kaizer Nengovhela / Viewed: 496
The Vhembe Bus Operators Association says that they are compliant with government Covid-19 regulations and that they load their buses to a maximum capacity of 80 percent.
Having to take various means of transport to and from work, commuters find themselves a little too close for comfort to fellow passengers in usually overcrowded buses and taxis. Many feel that their health is compromised in overloaded buses.
The chairperson of the Vhembe Bus Operators Association, Ms Maria Mulaudzi, dismissed reports that their bus ranks around the district have seen a rise in Covid-19 cases. The association has assured commuters that using their buses is safe.
Mulaudzi said that bus managers frequently visited the bus ranks and that passengers should not be alarmed. The association also reminded commuters to adhere to regulations. According to Mulaudzi, drivers at all ranks sanitise commuters themselves and do not allow any passengers inside their buses if they are not wearing a mask.
“Someone who used a bus got infected by the coronavirus and then people started to blow things out of proportion. You no longer want to use buses because the bus drivers got infected by the virus; it is not fair to us.”
Bus inspectors are also closely monitoring hygiene and compliance with the Covid-19 regulations among commuters. Mulaudzi said that some passengers struggled to follow the rules. “When passengers get inside any of our buses, we make sure we sanitise them. We make sure they put on their masks. Passengers are strictly not allowed to eat inside the buses.”
A passenger from Louis Trichardt, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that they would also like to have their temperature checked. “They sanitize and make sure we put our masks on, but they don’t take our temperature,” he said.
“Inside the buses people, are sitting too close to each other. Bus transport is going to be a transporter and a spreader of the coronavirus. There is no social distance,” other commuters added.
The transport industry remains one of the key sectors that the government continues to focus on in the hope of reducing transmission of the coronavirus. Another commuter, Mashudu Malise, said that the government’s call for good hygiene should be adhered to by everyone. “Sometimes you get those people who don’t want to open the window in a bus,” she said. She said she became worried when someone coughed or sneezed, because that could put her whole family in danger.
A bus driver sanitises commuters at the Louis Trichardt bus rank.
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.