Covid-19 pandemic
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to update South Africans on the nation's plan to combat Covid-19 amid the pandemic that has gripped the country since March. Infections in Mzansi are on the rise since the relaxation in restrictions, allowing the vast majority of the economy to reopen. Politicians have been urging citizens to practice the preventative strategies for avoiding infections as plans are made to breathe life into the flagging economy. Meanwhile, Ramaphosa has addressed public transport issues in his weekly letter to the nation, commenting that:

"In a country where the vast majority do not have access to private cars, the provision of efficient, reliable, safe and affordable public transport is critical to our people’s everyday lives. Unfortunately, public transport continues to be plagued by challenges; some are the legacy of apartheid development, but many are contemporary and persistent." 

Ramaphosa is set to update the nation on the Covid-19 pandemic later this week. Image: Flickr/ GovernmentZA Source: UGC The president acknowledged that South African public transport is notoriously unsafe and unreliable: "Many of our people’s experiences with public transport are not positive. Those reliant on trains have to contend with daily delays, disruptions and prolonged closures of essential lines. 

Furthermore, rail infrastructure in most cities only covers older parts of cities and has not kept up with new city development." Ramaphosa is hopeful that the upcoming National Taxi Lekgotla will chart the course towards a more 'efficient sector'. "

When public transport is unsafe, unreliable and costly, it also affects economic activity. Given that about four in 10 workers use public transport to reach their workplaces, these challenges have knock-on effects on productivity, labour relations and business functioning." Ramaphosa warns African Union against second wave of Covid-19 cases

These challenges, explained the president, must be overcome for an overall improvement in the lives of the nation as a whole: "A formalised, well-managed, better-regulated minibus taxi system is in the best interests of not just those who use taxis daily. It is also in the interest of the development and progress of the entire society."