CORONAVIRUS DAILY DIGEST #84

Taxi union decides to run at full capacity, prisons report high recovery rate, and hundreds of schools record coronavirus cases

By Christi Nortier 28 June 2020

Officials have urged travellers to be responsible about Covid-19 precautions when travelling home from the holidays. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)

Over the weekend, a meeting between Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and the taxi industry was postponed three times and will take place later this week. Meanwhile, the South African National Taxi Council announced it would run taxis at full capacity on Monday 29 June, despite lockdown regulations. On Saturday, it was announced that prisons have a 74% recovery rate and that 775 schools have been affected by Covid-19.

Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 28 June at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments; however, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng did not provide an update by the time of publishing:

On Sunday 28 June, the meeting between Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and the taxi industry was postponed for the third time since Friday. The meeting was meant to address the industry’s rejection of the R1-billion relief package offered by government and the regulations concerning load capacity and interprovincial travel during lockdown.

Mbalula has said the meeting will take place this week after he has consulted with the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Meanwhile, the South African National Taxi Council announced its intention to load taxis to full capacity “whether the minister approves or not” on Monday 29 June. Lockdown Level 3 regulations say that taxis can be loaded to 70% of the vehicle’s capacity.

Santaco president Philip Taaibosch said the industry has been waiting for the ministry to respond to its concerns, only to be repeatedly let down after meetings kept being postponed. He said taxi operators would go on strike nationwide if any taxis were impounded by officials.

On Saturday, the Department of Correctional Services said that 1,217 prisoners and 1,028 officials have tested positive for Covid-19. There has been a 74% recovery rate.

Meanwhile, the Department of Basic Education said 523 pupils and 1,169 staff members had tested positive for Covid-19. Nationwide, 775 schools had been affected.

Late on Friday, the Pretoria High Court dismissed, with costs, the application by the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association to overturn government’s ban on the sale of tobacco products. The association had argued that cigarettes should be classed as essential because tobacco is addictive. DM

Gallery

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