The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council (PEC) has noted with concern that 59 public servants have died of Covid-19 while 3,933 have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The PEC, chaired by Premier Sihle Zikalala, expressed their sorrow during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.
“The executive council noted with apprehension that the infection rate among public servants is rising at an alarming rate,” said Zikalala.
“While public servants are members of society and are also impacted by every situation within the community, the executive council believes that the health and well-being of public servants is vital as they form the first line of support in the fight against Covid-19,” he added.
While the country battles to contain the spread of the coronavirus, social unrest persists among the taxi associations in the Ndwedwe district, about 60km north of Durban’s central business district (CBD).
The PEC received a report on the unrest from KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Transport Bheki Ntuli.
On July 13, a 51-year-old woman was killed after a taxi affiliated with the Ndwedwe and District Taxi Association was gunned down on the M25 highway, north of Durban.
On July 22, a passenger in a Durban taxi was shot dead after the vehicle full of passengers came under fire.
According to Ntuli, preliminary reports revealed that a taxi affiliated to the Ndwedwe and District Taxi Association came under a hail of gunfire from unknown assailants at a set of traffic lights in Inanda.
Ntuli said 47 taxi violence cases had resulted in convictions in recent months.
“Many innocent people are being killed or seriously injured, including bystanders, passengers and taxi operators, as a result of taxi violence,” Ntuli said.
On Wednesday, the PEC noted with concern the ongoing violence in which six murders, including two commuters, and 17 attempted murder incidents linked to the Ndwedwe and District Taxi Association have occurred in recent months.
The PEC urged Ntuli and the South African Police Service to “act decisively and drastically” to ensure that commuters no longer bear the brunt of taxi violence in the province.