The problem of overloaded and unroadworthy taxis continues to be a huge problem. But even traffic officials were shocked this week when they stopped a taxi with 46 people in it.

The problem of overloaded and unroadworthy taxis continues to be a huge problem. But even traffic officials were shocked this week when they stopped a taxi with 46 people in it.

The reports that the taxi was carrying 28 adults and 18 children, twice the legal load of 21 passengers. It was stopped near Laingsburg on its way from Cape Town to Transkei.

Deputy head of the Western Cape traffic department, Kenny Africa, said the taxi was stopped because its lights were broken and its tyres in bad shape. Its steering mechanism was also suspect and the brakes faulty. It was subsequently confiscated for being unroadworthy. To make it worse, the driver was also arrested for drunk driving and overloading the vehicle.

The traffic inspector, Deon Fredericks, who stopped the minibus taxi at the weekend said he couldn't believe it when "people kept piling out of the vehicle".

"This is the most people we have ever seen in a minibus, but we've had 155 people in a big bus. You don't see big buses overloaded that much anymore, but quite often the minibuses are very overloaded," said Laingsburg traffic official Jacques Groenewald.