South Africa on Friday resumed the long-distance train service between cities after a nine-month suspension due to COVID-19.

“Today we are launching the resumption of the Mainline Passenger Services which operates Shosholoza Meyl and Premier Classe after a break of 9 months.

This means that Shosholoza Meyl will be operating on all its regular routes during this festive season,” said Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.

“We are happy with the resumption of the trains. Passenger rail, as the cheapest mode of transport, plays an important role in providing mobility to many of our people who travel from far-flung rural areas to urban centres for work or purchase wares to sustain their livelihoods,” he said.

Mbalula told media who accompanied him to inspect the trains’ readiness that he is happy about the health protocols.

He said passengers would observe social distance and would be expected to wear masks all the time while in the trains.

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