The Department of Transport has published new regulations which expand how many people are allowed to travel in a car during South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.
The regulations, which were gazetted on Tuesday (31 March), primarily provide guidelines for public transport users but also extends to private vehicles in some instances.
In terms of the regulations, vehicles must reduce their maximum licensed passenger seating capacity by 70% with no masks as follows:
- A minibus licensed to carry 10 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 7 passengers;
- A minibus licensed to carry 15 passengers, is limited to carry the maximum of 10 passengers;
- A midibus permitted to carry a maximum of 22 passengers, is limited to carry a maximum of 15 passengers.
- A vehicle licenced to carry up to 4 passengers is limited to carrying 50% of their permissible passenger-carrying capacity.
As an alternative to the above, the regulations state that all minibus and midibus taxi vehicles are permitted to load their maximum 100% passenger loading capacity as provided in the operating license on condition that all passengers are wearing masks.
This includes either:
- Surgical masks;
- N95 respiratory masks.
Department of Transport spokesperson Motlatsi Lebea confirmed to BuinessTech that while the above regulations pertain to public transport, there are similar restrictions for people using private vehicles.
“South Africans have been encouraged to shop alone so there must be a good reason why there are two of you in a car if you are stopped and asked by traffic officials,” he said.
He added that there should never be three people in a private car unless they meet one of the other emergency requirements that would allow them to leave their households.
Most importantly, Lebea said that should drivers should try and wear facial masks whenever driving with more than one person in a car so as to try and avoid infections.
The Department of Transport also published new regulations which outline the validity of motor vehicle licences and registrations during South Africa’s 21-day lockdown.
The regulations extend the grace period to 30 days for both driver’s licences and other types of vehicle licences.
The most notable changes include:
- During the lockdown, the validity period for learner’s licence, driving licence, motor vehicle licence disk, temporary permit, professional driving permit and roadworthy certificates shall be deemed to be valid and shall be extended for a further grace period of 30 days from the date of expiry of a lockdown period, unless determined otherwise by the minister;
- The validity period for the renewal of a motor trade number licence during the lockdown, shall be deemed to be valid and shall be extended fora further grace period of 6 months from the date of expiry of a lockdown period unless determined otherwise by the minister;
- Driving licence testing centres and vehicle testing stations will remain closed during lockdown period.
You can read the full regulations below: