COVID-19 Pushing Combis To A Halt

Long wait: Combi drivers waiting for customers at Gaborone station. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Long wait: Combi drivers waiting for customers at Gaborone station. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit various sectors of the economy, with some in the process of recovery, while others are still knee-deep. At a time when public transport operators were eyeing a recovery, the worst happened.

Recent limitations on inter-zonal travel, alcohol ban, restriction on gatherings and the temporary closure of schools, has operators in limbo. President of the newly formed Yellow Light Taxi Services, Kebaeletse Koobokile said the challenges they face vary as some operators do not own the vehicles. He said such operators are hard hit as they share the daily takings with the vehicle owner, amid a depressed business environment due to COVID-19.

“As you know our commodity is our cars and it is very disheartening that petrol prices went up and the car maintenance prices went up as well which means we are now fighting a losing war,” Koobokile said. With learners and teachers at home, while some employees are working remotely, revenue from public transport has been eroded. Olebogeng Kemelo, a combi driver who plies the Tlokweng route, said it has been tough.

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