Gauteng govt launches new app to fight Covid-19 in the taxi industry

Gauteng’s Department of Transport has launched a new mobile app that will monitor and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in taxis and at taxi ranks.

The mobile application known as Cmore App will not be accessed by passengers but by taxi rank marshals and mangers.

Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo said the mobile application was part of the department’s steps to formalise the taxi industry.

He launched the app at the Bosman taxi rank in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Mamabolo added rank marshals and managers would be paid a monthly stipend of R3,500 and R5,000, respectively.

“They are not our employees and are also doing work at taxi ranks. We felt that as a start, we must start here and see how it goes. The application gives us an opportunity to formalise ranks and to implement best practices.

“We have noticed that there is chaos and lack of management at taxi ranks and infrastructure is left to itself. This marks the beginning of taxi rank management. This application marks the beginning of an important chapter of formalising the taxi industry,” he said.

The application will help the government to monitor the number of passengers accessing taxis, the number of taxis disinfected, taxi drivers sanitising passengers’ hands, wearing of masks by all and the cleaning of ranks.

Taxi marshals and rank managers will be responsible to update the data that will be sent to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) which will be monitoring the application together with the department.

Marshals and managers who did not do their work were going to forfeit their salaries, Mamabolo warned.

He said the department was discussing plans to train rank managers to teach them about human rights and how to treat passengers.

Mamabolo added the taxi industry could attract advertising and generate revenue on its own.

National Taxi Alliance (NTA) spokesperson Theo Malele welcomed the application and said it was elated the government would ensure passengers were taken care of.

He promised the alliance would support the government’s initiative.

“The NTA has been putting [it] to government to investigate if the 100% capacity is feasible. We were given strict protocols to adhere to for which we are grateful. All aboard should wear masks and the driver should wear a face shield.

“We should also ensure that commuting masses are made aware that windows have to be kept open for a 5cm margin to allow ventilation and everybody is safe. Our members have been briefed about the application and they will monitor it so that it becomes a well-oiled machine,” Malele said.

He added the NTA would support the rank marshals and managers to ensure they utilised the application.

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