More than 100 unroadworthy minibus taxis have been impounded by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department since 1 March, including 26 in a blitz in Rosettenville on Tuesday.
Some of the taxis were in such bad condition that parts of the steering columns and dashboards were held together with hand-connected wires. One taxi was using two screwdrivers, side by side, to change gears.
“They are death traps," said JMPD spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar. "Some were in such a bad condition that they were sent directly to the pound rather than to the Langlaagte testing station for roadworthy checking."
He said some were “literally falling apart and were accidents waiting to happen". Many had expired licence discs and false number plates, so it would take a while to track down the owners.
“We are very concerned because one of the vehicles had just transported children to school," Minnaar said. "We appeal to parents making use of this mode of transport to ensure the taxis their children are in are fully roadworthy. It is their responsibility.”