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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  09 Mar 2010

Motoring: Toyota Support Taxi Recapitalisation Programme


Recent Gauteng Business News

Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd (TSAM) fully supports the programme announced by Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin and the Department of Transport to retrofit illegally converted panel vans to comply with all safety requirements of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP).

At a media briefing yesterday the deputy minister indicated that all 2 353 panel vans that were illegally converted into passenger-carrying minibuses will be modified within a six month period starting April 2010. The refit process includes the strengthening of seat and seatbelt anchorage points.

“Toyota South Africa Motors welcomes the steps taken by the Department of Transport to make illegally converted panel vans compliant with all safety requirements under the TRP,” says Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa.

“We have always believed such a programme must be undertaken under the auspices of the relevant transport and safety standard authorities. We therefore welcome this initiative to ensure these vehicles comply with the safety standards as set by the SABS and the National Regulator for Compulsory Standards (NRCS) in terms of the TRP.”

Dr Van Zyl again emphasised that Toyota South Africa Motors have always condemned the practice of illegal conversions of panel vans to taxis. “We have clearly communicated this position on an ongoing basis since the first incidents of illegal conversions were detected in 2005.

“For us the safety of taxi commuters is paramount and we have highlighted our stance on this by emphasising that illegally converted panel vans do not offer the same level of structural strength and rigidity as a Quantum minibus or Ses’fikile taxi,” says Dr Van Zyl.

It has also been TSAM’s view that all conversions of Quantum taxis should be investigated and that any transgressions should be punished.

Says Dr Van Zyl: “We therefore fully support the ongoing investigation by a Special Investigation Unit into possible fraudulent actions and other criminal activities in this regard.”

TSAM once again states that the Ses’fikile taxi has been approved by all regulatory bodies and complies fully with all requirements. The Ses’fikile is frequently tested in all operating conditions to ensure that the vehicle continues to provide high levels of quality, durability, reliability and safety.

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