Toyota Quantum panel vans that were converted into taxis will be OUTLAWED by February 2023.
The above-mentioned vehicles that are not voluntarily surrendered to the scrap yard will face being impounded.
Over 15 years after the Department of Transport was made aware of the illegally converted panel vans, the deadline has been set to get rid of the ‘coffin on wheels’.
About 10 years ago, South Africa’s Public Protector was made aware of the illegally converted vans by taxi finance manager Hennie de Beer.
De Beer alleged that the converted vehicles were structurally defective adding that they led to deadly incidents.
These panel vans, before conversion, are designed to carry goods and a maximum of three passengers.
The vans went through a lot of changes including having seats bolted onto the thin floors and windows cut into the body.De Beer stated that the conversion put a strain on the rear axle and led to increased tyre bursts.
He cited over 200 accidents that involved illegally converted vehicles – many of which were fatal. In 2009, over 2 300 illegally converted taxis were identified by the Department of Transport.
Business Insider reports that under 50% of these vehicles had operating licences. Currently, owners are paid R141 000 per minibus taxi that is offered to the scrap yard.
“The owner of an illegally converted Toyota panel van must have an operating license or permit linked to the vehicle and also in the owner’s name to qualify for a scrapping allowance,” according to a recent gazette signed by Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula
The gazette went on to state that illegally converted Toyota panel vans “as fully described in this notice” must be surrendered for scrappy by 31 January 2021. Illegally converted panel vans must be surrendered at the Taxi Recapitalisation South Africa.
No illegally converted Toyota panel vans will be allowed to transport passengers for reward.
In addition, law enforcement authorities will impound the vehicles if they are being utilised to transport passengers for reward.