The Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) has raised concern that its members are no longer making money following the reintroduction of public health regulations with a reduced customer seating capacity.
Interregional leisure travel is restricted under the current regulations, which lapse on 31 July 2021. The regulations direct that public transport operators are not permitted to travel between regions.
Equally, motorists may load passengers only to half the capacity of a vehicle. Nabta acting president Jeffrey Platt said the extended measures in place as announced by the President continue to negatively affect their members as they are only permitted to load 50% or half the number of passengers per seating capacity.
“Which means anyone who has a private car can take passengers who want to travel for emergency, while bus operators are prohibited not to take passengers who shall travel between the regions.
It is wrong to promote illegal transportation while stopping those having permits to transport passengers,” Platt reacted. Furthermore, he noted their members are suffering a lot due to increased petrol prices, food items and car parts that have skyrocketed. “Yet our members are prohibited to transport passengers.
How are they going to survive and feed their families?” he questioned. Nabta called upon all long-distance bus operators in all the regions to make sure that, as from 16 July 2021, until the end of the lockdown, there must be two buses (big bus and a Quantum) at all police stations countrywide and at all government offices where the essential permits are issued to make sure they render transportation services to passengers who needs to travel for emergency and stop illegal transportation.
He encouraged operators to work together and ensure they have a sanitiser for customers at all times. “You must also make sure that you wear a mask properly all the time and you can stop for five minutes every after 200 km, in order to remove a mask at wide open space to give your lungs a new breath,” Platt advised.