UPDATE 26th March

Following publication of this story the Amendments of Regulations Issued were published providing clarity on transport and particularly ehailing services.

“All commuter transport services including passenger rail services, bus services, taxi services, ehailing services, maritime and air passenger transport is prohibited, except bus services, taxi services, ehailing services, and private motor vehicles for purposes of rendering essential services, obtaining essential goods, seeking medical attention, funeral services and to receive payment of grants: Provided that such vehicle carries no more than 50% of the licensed capacity and all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and the limitation of exposure of persons to COVID-19, are ahered to,” reads section 11C of the Amendments.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula also stated that metered taxis and ehailing services would be allowed to operate between 05:00 and 09:00 in the morning to transports workers to and from work. In the evenings metered taxis and ehailing services would be allowed to operate from between 16:00 and 20:00.

“Metered Taxis and e-Hailing vehicles must be sanitized after each journey. The industry will take responsibility for this. Where appropriate government will assist,” said Mbalula.

To sum up then, Uber and Bolt should be available for those classified as essential workers who need to get to work.

Original story follows on below

Government is rapidly putting measures in place to enforce a nation-wide lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening.

The lockdown comes into effect from Friday morning but there is already a lot of confusion regarding which services will be running and operational and which won’t be.

One of those services is ehailing or ride sharing apps such as Uber and Bolt.

Speaking to Eusebius McKaiser on 702 in Johannesburg this morning, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said that ehailing services would be shut down during lockdown.

“This affects everybody, that includes Uber and all the ehailing systems. Taxis, metered taxis all of them are affected,” Mbalula said.

The minister said that for those who work in essential industries and who require transport, special provisions will be made at peak travel times in the mornings and afternoons.

“Workers who are classified as essential will be permitted to get to work. We’ll cater for them in the morning peak and the afternoon in terms of public transport,” said Mbalula.

Trains will not be accessible at all during the lockdown and Mbalula also wants to intensify restrictions for air travel from high-risk countries.

For those who will be required to continue working during lockdown, at least there will be special provisions as regards public transport. For everybody else, the lack of public transport should be a clear sign to stay at home and help lessen the spread of COVID-19.

You can listen to Mbalula’s full interview with McKaiser on the 702 website.