Nothing has been the same in South Africa since COVID-19. Shadrack Banda, a 34-year-old single father of two is a foreign national who runs a school transport business. He transports school children to different schools in the south of Johannesburg. He faced a lot of challenges because schools closed and parents were not paying drivers.
Banda had debts of over R6,500 for rent owed since the beginning of April because everything stopped during the beginning of the lockdown. It meant that he had no means of income. Because of this, he believes that it will never be the same ever again. Currently, he transports fewer kids that are going to school on scheduled dates.
The parents are also complaining about paying the full amount of the transport fee. But Banda also needs the money to survive. His own kids are also suffering and he needs to make sure that he provides for them. Banda wishes to go back home for the December holidays, but he has no means to, because he does not have the funds to do so.
Meanwhile, Nomsa Mabunda is also a transit driver in Lenasia, a township south of Johannesburg. She also transports school learners to local schools in the area. She said that as a South African resident it was also not easy for her.
Mabunda had to do discounts for all her transit students who are also part of her community. Although, she has needs too, she had to compromise her needs to benefit the community by transporting the children every day at discounted prices.
When she spoke about it, she said that, “I hope it will be better next year. This year has just gone down the drain. But I am grateful to be alive and that my taxi did not give me problems.”
This article was submitted on 12 October 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.