The lives of thousands of patients, passengers and paramedics across the country are being put in danger every day by three-seater Toyota panel vans that have allegedly been illegally converted into ambulances, reports City Press. The use of these ambulances may have already led to some deaths.
The report says these allegations are being made by former banker Hennie de Beer, who exposed a similar scandal a few years ago, where converted panel vans were being used as minibus taxis.
The report says the Hawks have confirmed that they were busy with a nationwide investigation into the converted ambulances. This follows a complaint to the department of transport that was lodged in 2017.
However, Toyota SA has denied that the vehicles are dangerous in any way. The company’s spokesperson said that converting panel vans into ambulances was something done around the world. But, the report says, de Beer disputed this.
The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications said it was aware of the allegation, but its approvals for these ambulance conversions had been granted in compliance with the legal requirements.
[link url="https://city-press.news24.com/News/toyota-vans-converted-into-ambulances-may-be-new-coffins-on-wheels-20200224"]Full City Press report[/link]