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‘Our lives will be put at risk’: Joburg taxi drivers not celebrating life without masks | News24



Some taxi operators on the Baragwanath Taxi Rank consider Covid-19 continues to be round and other people ought to preserve sporting masks.

  • Not everybody was pleased concerning the authorities’s scrapping of laws on mask-wearing.
  • Taxi operators in Johannesburg are sceptical and can advise passengers to put on masks in the event that they really feel unsafe.
  • One passenger, nevertheless, believes the influence of Covid-19 has been decreased.

There have been blended reactions to the federal government’s repeal of Covid-19 measures that regulated South Africans’ day-to-day actions for not less than two years, together with people who made mask-wearing obligatory.

On Wednesday evening, Health Minister Joe Phaahla gazetted the repeal.

Baragwanath Taxi Rank operators in Johannesburg are sceptical concerning the transfer, however say they won’t drive passengers to put on masks.

Driver Mondi Sithole mentioned: “The wearing of masks is no longer compulsory. No passenger will be forced to wear one. We were forced to wear masks and we complied with the law. Masks are problematic. We were battling to breathe in the fresh air.”

READ | No more masks in classrooms? Unions express relief, but also fear amid overcrowding and flu season

However, he mentioned he would advise passengers to put on masks in the event that they really feel unsafe.

Another driver, Phindile Nkabinde, is worried concerning the unfold of Covid-19.

He mentioned:

The virus continues to be lively. We welcome the announcement by the federal government, nevertheless, our lives will probably be put in danger as drivers. We are in a flu season and persons are going to fall sick. I’ll solely cease sporting my masks after winter. I will not cease asking my passengers to put on their masks.

Nkabinde has a field of masks in his taxi that he shares with passengers.

“The wearing of masks is one’s personal choice. I will plead with passengers to wear masks. For safety’s sake let’s keep on wearing masks inside a taxi,” he added.

Queue marshal Thulani Mbhele mentioned it might be tough to cease sporting masks as a result of they cope with totally different folks, together with those that are sick.

“When Covid-19 arrived, we were told it was deadly in winter. We are in the winter season now and the government wants us to stop wearing masks, which is difficult to accept.

“Imagine [you are] seated subsequent to an individual who’s coughing and never sporting a masks. This is problematic for us. We should shield one another. 

“We are not above the government and we will not distract it. We will continue calling for people to wear masks. I will even go [on] my knees to beg passengers to wear masks.

“Imagine ferrying somebody carrying a newly born child and somebody seated subsequent to the mom is coughing, Mbhele added.

READ | Wear to from here? SA set to ditch face masks, but some experts still have concerns

One passenger, Gift Manana, mentioned he would nonetheless put on a masks inside a taxi.

Later, he modified tune and mentioned he would solely put on one if he was compelled to take action.

Another passenger, Constance Khuzwayo, welcomed the announcement.

Khuzwayo mentioned the influence of Covid-19 was decreased.

“These masks came with Covid-19. We were not wearing them during the past winter season.

“As an elder, I’m sporting mine wherever I’m going. I’ll solely put on it when requested to take action. For now, I will not put on one. I used to be ready for the federal government to finish the sporting of masks,” Khuzwayo added.


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