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Converted minibus taxis condemned

2010-02-15 07:28
Minibus taxis converted from Toyota Quantum panel vans are unfit to carry passengers, Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle said
on Sunday.

"Every Toyota Quantum conversion is a potential time bomb, and ... the conversions may have already cost many lives," Carlisle's department said in a statement.

Quantum panel vans could be a safety risk because their floors were not thick enough, the seat anchorage was too flimsy and there was no roll over the protection bars, the department said.

"My advice to commuters is not to travel in converted Toyota Quantum panel vans until it has been established beyond a shadow of doubt that they are 100% safe," said Carlisle.

A total of 44 such vans had been converted into minibus taxis in the Western Cape, the department said.

Carlisle has written to national Minister of Transport Sbu Ndebele about the converted taxis.
Toyota SA on Sunday condemned the illegal conversion of its panel vans into taxis.

"Our stance on the issue is clear. We don't condone it at all," said Toyota SA spokesman Ferdi De Vos.

"The conversions started before the introduction of the Quantum Ses'fikile taxis. People converted the panel vans because it was cheaper," he said.

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