NATIONAL NEWS - Following the gradual resumption of transport services under level 4 of the national lockdown, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula and Gauteng MEC of Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo this morning (4 May) inspected the Gautrain rail service.
The inspection started at the Hatfield Station in Pretoria.
Gauteng’s 80km railway system announced on 1 May that it will resume a “reduced train and bus service” on 4 May beginning at 5.30am, after its services were suspended at the end of March due to the national lockdown.
“The safety and wellbeing of our employees and passengers remains of paramount importance to us and we have therefore taken great care to implement numerous precautionary measures to ensure that we avoid the spread of Covid-19,” said Gautrain Management Agency spokesperson Barbara Jensen Vorster.
These measures include the compulsory use of face masks, full body sanitisers and scanners, hand sanitisers and special decals to encourage social distancing at both the station as well as inside the buses and trains.
The Department of Transport hopes to replicate these measures with the Western Cape’s Metrorail.
The group later moved to the Sandton Gautrain Station which, prior to the lockdown, connected over 20 000 people daily.
“I’m impressed by the work that management here has undertaken to adhere to our Transport Regulations,” Mbalula said while addressing the media in Sandton.
While the Gautrain’s airport service will remain suspended until further notice, Mbalula has extended his apologies on behalf of government to long distance travellers who may have been inconvenienced by law enforcement due to the curfew.
“I have been in communication with the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Minister of Police. We are looking at passing a directive soon that will enable long distance travellers to be accommodated,” Mbalula concluded.