With the rapidly changing legal landscape, employers may be left in the dark around how to ensure they comply with the latest laws and regulations relating to road transport during the national lockdown.

A company vehicle used for the purposes of transporting essential service employees to and from work must be limited to 50% of the licensed capacity of the vehicle, according to the regulations, issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act 2002 and amended as recently as 2 April 2020.

The relevant regulation refers to bus services, e-hailing services, taxi services and private vehicles. Company vehicles most likely fall within the category of private vehicles. Private vehicles, used for the purposes of rendering essential services must be limited to 60% of the licenced capacity. The contravention of this provision is an offence, and if convicted, one can be liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.

The consequence of these provisions is that a company vehicle can be 50% full when transporting employees to work during lockdown but can be 60% full when rendering essential services (such as delivering food supplies).

As yet, there are no specific hygiene requirements prescribed in respect of company vehicles. However it is advisable for the purposes of good practice and the safety of your drivers and employees to provide them with masks and adequate hand sanitiser.

Companies are not limited by the restricted hours provided for the public transport sector. Companies are permitted to transport their employees who render essential services in line with the operating shifts and work hours as determined by the responsible authority within the company. Such operating schedule should be signed and stamped by the responsible authority. It is advisable for employees to carry a copy of this schedule.