Taxi industry urged to come forward with information on panel vans that are illegally converted into minibus taxis for public transport
Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane has called on taxi operators that have knowingly or inadvertently acquired Toyota Quantum panel vans that have allegedly been converted illegally into minibus taxis to approach her office.
It has come to the Adv. Mkhwebane’s attention that unscrupulous businesses sell such vehicles to taxi operators in hard cash, as opposed to credit, to evade the stringent measures that are able to detect and thwart this fraudulent practice
“We call on all the affected taxi operators who bought such illegally converted vehicles from 2005 to date to approach the Public Protector’s offices in the provinces and at head office,” she said, adding that the call applies to vehicles that have been bought as new or used cars as well as those that have been acquired through auctions.
Adv. Mkhwebane is currently finalising a report following a systemic investigation into the alleged illegal conversion of the panel vans into mini bus taxis that are used for passenger transport.
The investigation was launched in 2012 following a complaint that the vehicles in question were modified, allegedly, by Manufacturers, Importers and Builders (MIBs), and converted into minibus taxis to carry passengers despite not being safe for that purpose.
It was alleged that such vehicles did not meet government’s safety regulations, national standards and requirements in respect of specifications and as such, were not legally operating as taxis. A further allegation was that the taxis concerned contributed to various motor vehicle accidents as they were said to be structurally unsafe and unstable.
For more information, contact:
Senior Manager: Communications
Public Protector South Africa
(012) 366 7035
072 264 3273