Home FleetWatch 2023 Hino SA completes Home Affairs’ order for 33 mobile offices

Hino SA completes Home Affairs’ order for 33 mobile offices

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Spotted on the road by a FleetWatch staffer, the story behind these trucks shows the vital role trucks play in society.
Spotted on the road by a FleetWatch staffer, the story behind these trucks shows the vital role trucks play in society.

Hino South Africa has completed an order for 33 mobile offices for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Home Affairs. The last units were shipped in mid-February.

It was in mid-January that one of our FleetWatch staffers saw a convoy of Hino trucks driving on the N14 towards Krugersdorp. The bodies were decked out in Home Affairs regalia and they looked pretty fancy new. She got her passenger to take a few pics which she sent to me. Well, here’s the story behind those trucks.

A demonstration of the Hino 300 mobile offices to the KZN Department of Home Affairs showed all the features of these units – including the wheelchair lift.
A demonstration of the Hino 300 mobile offices to the KZN Department of Home Affairs showed all the features of these units – including the wheelchair lift.

These fully equipped mobile offices will service many of KZN’s most remote rural areas. The bodies are mounted on Hino 300 816 chassis-cabs which are powered by a 4-litre turbo-diesel engine driving the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.

According to Cyril Mncwabe, KZN Home Affairs’ Provincial Manager, the project was embarked on in an effort to get KZN Home Affairs services into the more outlying rural areas.

“Our core responsibility is to ensure that every South African citizen in our province has access to our services but we were aware that our footprint and presence in some of the far-flung and remote areas of the province needed to be improved.” It was thus that it was decided to go the mobile office route.

A view of the inside of one of the mobile offices constructed by SA Van Conversions/Bubhezi which is located in Pinetown, KZN.
A view of the inside of one of the mobile offices constructed by SA Van Conversions/Bubhezi which is located in Pinetown, KZN.

With the Hino plant based in KZN, it was an obvious first stop and it turned out to be the last stop. However, being KZN based wasn’t the only deciding factor that swung the order Hino’s way. 

“The Hino 300’s low average fuel consumption of approximately 15-18 l/100km and its record for reliability and durability were significant factors in the decision by Home Affairs,” says Mengas Mokoena, Hino SA’s Tender and Fleet Sales Manager.

The whole project then became a KZN ‘affair’. With Hino supplying the chassis cabs, the bodies were constructed by SA Van Conversions/Bubhezi, located in Pinetown, KZN. The company, which operates in conjunction with Transpec, another KZN body builder, has a long record of successful conversions of vans and chassis-cabs to ambulances, mobile laboratories, mobile offices, and taxis and has been involved with Toyota SA Motors and Hino SA in previous projects.

Itumeleng “Tumi” Segage (far left), recently appointed as General Manager of Hino South Africa, and his colleagues took a delegation from the KZN Home Affairs Department on a tour of the Hino assembly plant in Prospecton, Durban, where they were able to see their trucks being assembled.
Itumeleng “Tumi” Segage (far left), recently appointed as General Manager of Hino South Africa, and his colleagues took a delegation from the KZN Home Affairs Department on a tour of the Hino assembly plant in Prospecton, Durban, where they were able to see their trucks being assembled.

A group of KZN Home Affairs officials involved in the project visited the Hino assembly plant in Prospecton, near Durban, in December for a progress report and to tour the Hino truck assembly plant. “There was a high level of excitement in our group when we visited the Hino plant and saw the trucks being assembled,” says Mncwabe.

Well, the trucks are now out on the road doing their job. “We see these Hino-based mobile offices as an effective solution to serving citizens who previously had great difficulty getting to Home Affairs offices in the cities,” says Mncwabe.

This project once again highlights the dynamic role trucks play in our society on so many fronts. We just can’t do without them. And it remains FleetWatch’s opinion that the trucking sector deserves so much more priority attention – and indeed appreciation – that it currently receives. I’ll bet the ‘Gogos’ and others in the rural areas of KZN will show that appreciation.

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