Taxi body takes legal steps against dealers

The South African National Taxi Council is considering taking criminal and civil action against dealers who sell unsafe converted taxis, a spokesperson said on Friday.

Secretary general Philip Taaibosch said many members had found themselves in a difficult situation after innocently buying vehicles from unscrupulous dealers who had illegally converted them.

“To date, all the involved parties have blamed each other rather than looking for a solution,” he said.

He said South African Taxi Finance had agreed to upgrade converted taxis they had financed at their own cost, even though it was not their mistake.

The taxis will be upgraded to meet the new taxi recapitalisation programme safety specification.

South African Taxi Finance will invest about R20-million to ensure the taxis it had financed—which were converted panel vans—would be inspected, made structurally compliant and returned to the roads.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said his department would be meeting other financial institutions and key vehicle manufacturers to ensure their vehicles were roadworthy.

“We hope to finalise our investigation into illegally converted vehicles soon following recent [media] reports that certain taxis did not meet government’s safety standards ... unsafe and unroadworthy vehicles will be removed from the roads.”

The taxi recapitalisation programme is a government initiative aimed at making taxis safe on the road.—Sapa

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