SA lockdown: Minister Fikile Mbalula shuts down Gautrain and all commuter services


Following President Ramaphosa’s announcement of a national lockdown in an effort to combat the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa, the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, has subsequently announced that all commuter rail services would shut down for the duration of the lockdown. In full compliance with this announcement by the Minister of Transport, Gautrain services (trains, buses, and midi-buses) would be suspended from midnight on Thursday, March 26.

During the national lockdown, additional security measures will be implemented to protect the Gautrain infrastructure. The tracks will remain powered during the lockdown period and security will continue to patrol and monitor the alignment. From time to time, the public may observe trains on the East-West and North-South lines. These trains will not be transporting passengers but rather operating for essential maintenance purposes.

Persons defined as essential services personnel by the President will be permitted to remove their vehicles from Gautrain stations during the lockdown period, with prior arrangement being made. We urge these persons to contact our Customer Care Centre on 0800 42887246 and to advise at which station the vehicle is parked, as well as the date and time when the vehicle is to be fetched. We will then make a special arrangement for the particular station to be open for the vehicle to be removed.

Fikile Mbalula

Passengers who are not employed by essential services, as defined by the President, must abide by the regulations of the lockdown and will, therefore, not be permitted to remove their vehicles from Gautrain stations during the lockdown. These vehicles will remain locked at the Gautrain station for the duration of the lockdown and we recommend passengers to accordingly inform their insurers.

Parking charges for the duration of the lockdown will be waived and passengers will, therefore, not be required to pay for parking between Friday, March 27 and Thursday, April 16. Refunds of Weekly and Monthly Tickets

Passengers who have purchased a weekly or monthly Gautrain ticket and have been unable to fully utilise it due to the outbreak of Covid-19, may submit an online refund claim. Passengers will receive a full refund on all unused trips on the Weekly/Monthly Product. No admin fee will apply nor will passengers be required to provide any supporting documentation when making a claim. Whilst Product refunds are typically only processed once the Product has expired, we understand that passengers may require their refund sooner than the expiry date. In these cases, we advise passengers to block their Gautrain card online before submitting their claim. Online refunds are likely to take between three (3) and five (5) business days to be processed.

“Since Gautrain cards will be blocked (either by the passenger online or by our Refunds Team), passengers will be reimbursed an additional amount of R17 to enable them to purchase a new Gautrain card once Gautrain services resume. Our Refunds Team will be working remotely during the lockdown period and will therefore be able to process refunds during this time. Our Customer Care team will also be working remotely and remains available to assist with any passenger queries during the lockdown period. Our LiveChat platform, as well as, social media pages will also remain active and will be attended to by our Customer Care team.

“Please keep safe in these times, abide by the regulations of the lockdown and let us join virtual hands as a nation to end this pandemic in our beautiful country and the world at large. We wish to use this opportunity to sincerely thank each and every person who will be working in essential services during the lockdown to help keep our country afloat during these trying times. We salute you!” said Mbalula in a statement on Wednesday.

In other news – Lerato Kganyago fired for going to buy washing powder at Makro – Watch

With just a day to go to the Lockdown, people are panic buying and hoarding, and shelves are going empty each day. DJ and radio personality Lerato Kganyago was left confused after a tweep described her as ‘dramatic’ after going to Makro for washing powder buying.

Lerato Kganyago

On Tuesday, 24 March 2020, Lerato shared a video of the long line at her local Makro store, where she wanted to buy washing powder. In her caption, Lerato explained the long line made her turn back without making the purchase. Therefore, one tweep commented on the post and stated that she was being “dramatic” for wanting to buy washing powder at Makro. Read more

Source: IOL