Driving won’t be business as usual, even if lockdown is eased

Brian Joss – Businesses and individuals across South Africa are heaving a unified sigh of relief that we might be returning to work as lockdown is phased out. Yet, it will not quite be business as usual.

South African experts have predicted that the peak of COVID-19 could only occur between July and September. This may necessitate continued working from home where possible, continued social distancing and other safety measures. 

Drivers can expect the roads that were unusually empty the last few weeks to suddenly become much busier. “Along with non-essential deliveries, everyone else who can travel to work and other public transport, delivery and business vehicles will likely head to the roads in greater quantity. During this time, roadside grass and shrubbery will need to be trimmed and non-essential road maintenance completed as well.

 “In short, drivers can expect a few challenging driving weeks ahead. We urge drivers to give themselves extra time, be patient and remain calm.

Losing your patience during a stressful time for the country will not make it any better and possibly cost you more in the long-run,” says Herbert.

If you do not already have your return and continuity policies in place, this is something that fleet managers need to ensure that they do as soon as possible. “This needs to assess the threat that COVID-19 continues to present, how best to manage this threat and how to ensure continuity.

 “This includes communicating the process to follow should someone display symptoms or a fellow employee is diagnosed. As soon as fleets resume work, managers need to have this policy in place and it must be clearly communicated to drivers.”

“MasterDrive sees the measures taken by the government as ones that provide support and hope to those who need it, while allowing companies to get on their feet. We anticipate that the announcement on Thursday will provide an important understanding needed by companies to plan their recovery,” says Herbert.

As South Africa anticipates returning to their normal lives in a vastly different environment, we encourage all to be ready for this and handle it with the skills that they developed before the lockdown.

CAPTION:  Remote control: more people will be working from home. Picture:  Chris Spiegl/ Motorpress

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