As panic around the coronavirus outbreak mounts and South Africans adopt new ways of living in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, various publications have been at the frontlines trying to document what this looks like.
The news arm of local radio station Power FM is one such publication and they have been in hot water all morning for what many on social media deem as “racially insensitive” and “privileged” reporting.
While the account has been reporting from various locations around the province all morning, the offending tweet is one that painted commuters at the Bree Street Taxi Rank as “indifferent about taking precautionary measures”.
“It’s business as usual at the Bree Taxi Rank, where a litany of commuters flock daily. People seem to be indifferent about taking precautionary measures against #Coronavirussouthafrica,” tweeted @Power987News.
It's business as usual at the Bree Taxi Rank, where a litany of commuters flock daily. People seem to been indifferent about taking precautionary measures against #Coronavirussouthafrica pic.twitter.com/QQljYc1kW9— POWER987News (@POWER987News) March 17, 2020
When asked for comment in response to the backlash, a Power FM employee/representative simply referred the Citizen back to their online report titled “Coronavirus: taxi operators, commuters worried but say they have no choice“.
The report was compiled after Power News reporter Robinson Nqola went to the Bree Taxi Rank in Johannesburg to speak to commuters and taxi operators who said although they were deeply worried about getting infected by the coronavirus, it would be far too economically risky for them to stay at home and avoid social interaction.
Many of them who are breadwinners say if they had an option to work from home they would but their working environments require them to be physically present at work.
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(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)
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