Shocking accidents reveal how vehicles have been illegally converted from panel vans.
An estimated 3,000 ambulances transporting patients on South Africa’s roads – and at least 1,333 – are illegally converted Toyota Quantum panel vans that are not allowed to carry more than three passengers – all three of whom should be seated in the front. But provincial health departments are acquiring these structurally unsafe ambulances through official tender processes without realising they will never pass the stringent safety measures of the original manufacturer, Toyota Japan.
The reason is that the panel vans are designed and built to transport parcels, not people. There is even a sticker in the back compartment of the Quantum panel van warning: “Do not put your feet or seat on this platform. It is only for parcels.”