Public transport during level 4 – operating times, restrictions and precautions

With lockdown now sitting at level 4, more – but not all – South Africans are now permitted to leave their homes for work.

As such public transport is vital so that workers can actually head to work.

At the weekend Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula detailed how public transport would operate under the latest regulations.

“We call on the public to ensure strict adherence to this requirement by obtaining their own face masks in line with the guidance given by Minister [Nkosazana] Dlamini Zuma]. While government may provide limited assistance in ensuring availability of masks, the onus rests on each individual to ensure that they do not leave home without a mask,” said Mbalula.

We’ve outlined how public transport will operate during level 4 lockdown below.

It should be noted that all of the options listed below will be operating between 05:00 and 19:00 with an hour grace period to allow for the completion of trips before daily curfew (20:00 to 05:00) comes into effect.


Commuter transport for rail will start up again incrementally with strict measures in place to ensure physical distancing among other things.

As regards the Gautrain, the service will run from 05:30 – 09:30 and again from 15:00 and 19:00 so that workers can get to and from work more easily. The Gautrain route to the airport will not be operational.

Long distance rail is still not allowed to operate at level 4 lockdown.


The most important set of rules will be for those making use of road transport.

Minibus taxis are allowed to load 70 percent of the allowed passenger capacity but physical distancing and other mitigation measures are in place.

Buses are similarly allowed to transport 70 percent of the maximum capacity of the vehicle.

Metered taxis and ride sharing services are allowed to load 50 percent of the allowed passenger capacity. There is no limitation on who may use these services so long as precautions are observed.

Shuttles and chauffeur services catering to essential workers will be allowed to operate during the hours outlined earlier in this story but they will be required to run at 50 percent capacity.

Delivery services for food are permissible as are courier services for ecommerce firms.


Domestic and international flights are still banned at level 4 lockdown.

“Due consideration will be given to the mining and agricultural sector to allow limited movement of aircrafts, either to transport essential workers by chartered aircrafts or to spray pesticides on crops. All these movements will be subject to approval and permits will be issued on a case by case basis,” said Mbalula.

The minister clarified that international and domestic air travel would only be permissible at level 2.

Repairs and sundry

With more folks on the road comes a greater need for repairs and emergency services.

Servicing of vehicles at level 4 is permitted as is the import of spares for servicing and manufacturing.

Emergency services and roadside services are also permitted.

Finally, drivers’ license testing centres will be opened on a staggered basis. The first centres which will open will be in the main metros from 1st June but that may change depending on the lockdown level at the time.

[Source – Government ZA][Image – CC 0 Pixabay]


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