The purpose of this paper is to investigate scientifically and in-depth, the suitability and extent of use of light delivery vehicles (LDVs) as passenger transport, reasons for using LDVs as a mode of transport, challenges and – advantages of such use in Vhembe District Municipality, Limpopo Province. The study employed a triangulation mixed method, where both qualitative and quantitative research methods on the LDV passenger transport service in Vhembe District Municipality, were used. Literature reviews and interviews were used to collect both secondary and primary data respectively. The results show that the service is not a recent practice, for example, 55% of the operators have been operating for more than a year to five years, whilst 6% has been operating for more than 10years. Travelling to school was isolated as the most common reason (47%) for using LDVs, whilst (12%) use LDVs for business trips. About (37%) indicated that the door-to-door service is the most significant advantage of using LDVs over other formal or conventional modes of transport. 48% of the respondents considered overloading as the most common challenge encountered by LDVs passengers. The study concluded that LDV passenger transport service is an established, regular, demand-driven, sustainable and expanding reality, operating alongside other transport services especially in remote areas. In addition, the study found that LDV transport services provide some short-term advantages to passengers, which could lead to long-term advantages such as improved service delivery and operating circumstances. However, although operators apparently face increasing pressure to upgrade their service, because the service is illegal and thus not officially regulated, operators have scope for and often neglect the safety and comfort of their passengers
Papers Presented at the 2018 37th Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2018 Pretoria, South Africa. Theme "Towards a desired transport future: safe, sufficient and affordable".