Chinese firm drops SA taxi plans

2012-11-21 09:24

JOHANNESBURG - A Chinese state-owned company is cancelling plans to manufacture Inyathi minibuses in South Africa after facing hostility from the taxi industry, Business Day reported on Wednesday, November 21, 2012.

Resistance from the industry on Monday forced Beijing Automotive Works SA to cancel plans to assemble minibuses locally, the company's head of sales and marketing, John Jessup, was quoted as saying.


The taxi industry cited quality concerns and threatened to stop buying the Inyathi. SA National Taxi Council chief executive Nkuleleko Buthelezi said they told their members not to buy the vehicles.

Buthelezi told the paper: "We told our members not to buy that taxi until we have guaranteed the quality of the product."

On November 13, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel opened the first phase of the taxi-manufacturing company's plant in Springs in Ekurhuleni.

Patel said the factory would "re-industrialise South Africa", Business Day reported.


  • bradley.kecskes - 2012-11-21 09:52

    Welcome to SA...where every thing is about violence.

  • cobus123456 - 2012-11-21 09:55

    Guess the taxi industry could not find a way to get kickback from BAW hence they wont buy their taxis.

      naolifant - 2012-11-21 10:35

      what are you saying about Toyota?

      rontheogre - 2012-11-21 11:17

      When interviewed on 567 Cape Talk the representative of the Taxi industry placed more emphasis on the taxi industry having a stake in the assembly plant than quality concerns. The taxi industry reason that, because they are the largest consumers of mini buses that would be produced by the assembly plant, they should "get" a share of the profits. It seems that in this case not only will the typical begging bowl stay empty, but so will a few job opportunities. It is the "I want, I want" attitude again.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-11-21 11:39

      The only kickback they'll get from the Chinese is one in the nuts!

  • lawrence.meyer.14 - 2012-11-21 10:02

    Since when did the taxi owners give a f/@$ about the quality of their taxis. Most of the taxis have cardboard brake shoes and are kept together by engineer tape and bloudraad!! Now they complain about the quality!!! It's because they don't service the damn things and want to be able to take it back to the dealer after they've driven the hell out of the taxi!

  • Jeremy - 2012-11-21 10:04

    I wonder if there's some confusion here? Nissan have been making a minibus taxi for years, also named Inyathi. It hasn't been popular, most minibus taxi owners preferring the Toyota Quantum - and the various newer models. So were the Chinese going to build the existing Nissan Inyathi - or was it something completely different? In either case I can actually understand the taxi owners concerns. The old Inyathi wasn't much good - so they probably wouldn't want that. And if it was to be a different Inyathi, it would be Chinese - and that probably wouldn't be much good either!

      art5SA - 2012-11-21 15:42

      Any vehicle with Chinese Ownership is DODGY! Look at Chery, FAW, GWM, GEELY.... ALL MOBILE accidents waiting to happen!!!! Now imagine the Taxi's being built in SA.... the quality will even be WORSE tha the junk from China!!!!

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-11-21 10:09

    They are worried about the quality of the taxi's.... I think they should be more concerned about the quality of their drivers.

      pjg313 - 2012-11-21 11:19

      Too true...a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. I guess I can't say black. Is the pot white? Is this a racist saying? I am not a racist! I have a black kettle and brown pots. Only the bath in my house is white, and I don't even like it! Aaaaaargh...my head hurts!

  • stephen.cole1 - 2012-11-21 10:23

    Bloody hell ! I can't believe that the taxi industry has actually got sense !!! Well done !!!

  • frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-11-21 10:27

    They can't fit 123 people and a herd of cows in a Chinese cardboard van like they have managed using a Quantum and a Tazz....that's the only reason. These idiots are driven by profits, pure and simple! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhAya5DXwZg

  • Staphill - 2012-11-21 10:41

    Job opportunities GONE..

      wendy.barnett.1238 - 2012-11-22 07:12

      Striking opportunities gone

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-21 10:49

    When the Chinese Give up on cANCer then things are bad.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-21 10:51

    Anc mentality bringing SA down!!!

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-11-21 10:53

    Maybe there was not enough in it for the taxi industry,the chinese want the profits too.

  • dave.kofang - 2012-11-21 10:59

    Nyathi is a junk.Its durability is questionable.

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-21 11:14

      The way taxi drivers abuse a vehicle not even Rolls Royce will last.

  • john.thelps - 2012-11-21 11:15

    It has nothing to do with quality but all to do with not having a finger in the pie. I am so sick of the corruption in this country.

  • ongama.dlabantu - 2012-11-21 11:19

    I once had the misfortune of travelling on one of those Inyathi on a long distance trip. How they manage to pass the required SABS standards is beyond me. They should be declared a threat to human rights and taken off our roads period.

  • sminx.r.mandla - 2012-11-21 11:30

    For the Taxi industry its not about having a share in the pie or having an interest in any business deals. Until such time you've actually had an experience in that car, don't comment, because I for one have had an experience in it and trust me the build quality is not good at all and if u ask any mechanics they will second that that these cars don't last! Let's not put profits before passengers' safety...

  • Zamani.nkosi - 2012-11-21 11:57

    White people! Shut the hell up, you dont know what you talking about. Thanx to SANTACO for a sober decision, My dad bought that nonsense taxi, later was repossesed by the bank as commuters refuse to ride that thing. Even myself dont ride that thing!

      stewart.laidlaw.5 - 2012-11-21 12:13


      Blixum - 2012-11-21 13:32

      You mean white and yellow people should shut up. Bawawawawa!

      art5SA - 2012-11-21 15:45

      Well Zamani... then you must be as STUPID AS YOUR DAD! Why can WHITE'S NOT COMMENT? Who died and made you Minsiter of FREE SPEECH?

      James - 2012-11-21 16:58

      "Even myself dont ride that thing" No , but with your level of education - you're going to be driving one for a living

      Mandy Casey - 2012-11-21 19:45

      Are you questioning your fathers wisdom?

  • cirodesiena - 2012-11-21 11:59

    Let's all calm down for a second. I catch minibus taxis regularly in Cape Town. As a car journalist I can happily attest to the fact that the Inyathis always look and feel like they are about to spontaneously self-destruct. The Taxi industry is right, whether you like it or not. It's an awful product, not suited to any market let alone the rigorous requirements of the SA taxi industry.

  • zaaristotle - 2012-11-21 12:56

    An NPO I was involved in got an Inyathi donated. We said thank you, smiled for the camera, and of we went. But what a piece of junk. Build quality is very low, engine is underpowered for a people carrier, and unreliable. Believe me, there are already way too many Inyathis on the road. Which brings me to a second point. I'm all for Direct Foreign investment, South Africa needs it, but are we so desperate that we will take any junk that comes to our shores? I never thought I would see the day, but for once I'm in agreement with the taxi industry. Please, now also vet your drivers with the same standards as you do your hardware.

      Mandy Casey - 2012-11-21 19:44

      Then you deserve to take a walk - ungrateful.

  • Blixum - 2012-11-21 13:35

    BAwawawa. The Chinese will just take it across the border to Botswana and Bot's economy will keep on growing while we are fighting the unions off the road and taxis on the road.

      naolifant - 2012-11-21 14:34

      your level of thinking is questionable, to say the least.

  • riotousr - 2012-11-21 14:32

    The chinese are still around. What they have decided is to manufacture a different make of minibus to the infamous Inyathi. More like rebadging a Daewoo into a Chevrolet and have all the gullible customers convinced that now they are driving a real Opel. Go home, you cannot see properly.

  • jackey.moss - 2012-11-21 16:33

    Arrive alive campaign back on course !!!That Iyathi Rubbish is the biggest hip of crap to hit our shores..

  • theo.ferreira.58 - 2012-11-22 05:53

    Hahaha..... A taxi driver worried about safety??? That's the best joke I have heard in years. Maybe the Inyathi doesn't climb pavements as well or travel with one set of tires on the gravel when they overtake on the left edge of the road as well as the current taxis.. That would be a logical reason.

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-11-22 06:53

    Whahahaha! Taxi bosses realized they could substitute the steering wheel with a wrench, and the carrying capacity is limited to 15, and not the standard 21 people. Very rich coming from those moaning about job creation

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