This was the message from South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) provincial secretary Sfiso Shangase. “We welcome the investigation because it clearly states that the Quantums are a danger to the public and cause a lot of accidents, so it would be incumbent on us to put the safety of our passengers first,” he said.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane recently released a report calling for all modified Toyota Quantum panel vans to be scrapped. The report said the vans were originally designed for goods only, but taxi owners illegally modified them to carry passengers.
“The operation of the illegally converted panel vans into minibus taxis on South African roads contributed to various motor vehicle accidents, as these vehicles are alleged to be structurally unsafe when driving at a high speed, to exceed the rear axle load and lead to increased tyre bursts causing accidents,” the report stated.
A KZN taxi owner who declined to be named told the Daily News panel vans were much cheaper than passenger Quantums. He told of a taxi conversion place in Umgeni Road where they modified vehicles at low prices.