Taxi drivers meet MEC over Uber in Johannesburg

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Uber has been attracting a lot of attention lately – and not the good kind.

Last week Friday, metered taxi drivers staged an illegal protest outside Uber’s HQ in Johannesburg. Then, over the weekend, an Uber driver was allegedly threatened at gun point.

After metered taxi drivers accused Uber of stealing clients and jobs, a group of them met with the Johannesburg Mayoral Committee Member (MMC) for Transport Christine Walters yesterday, in a bid to address their concerns.

The drivers have accused the Uber of not complying with the same rules and regulations as local metered drivers.

While no specific details of the meeting between the MMC and the drivers has been revealed, the drivers told Eyewitness News that Uber will kill their business.

“You’ll find that we in the field will be charging R150 and Uber will charge R10. It’s killing our business. If you see how many metered taxis are in Johannesburg, those people are going to be out of jobs,” one of the drivers said.

The drivers’ main complaint is that Uber should join the Taxi Council and be regulated like local cab drivers.

The MMC confirmed that she was meeting with the drivers. “We are meeting with all the metre taxi operators and users to have a discussion around where are we taking this business to, where we are currently and what can we do to assist them as the city.”

The city council’s Lisa Selfte said that a balance need to be found between the two parties.

“Both the city and the metred taxi operators are aware of what commuters want. What we need is to get a balance between safety and security and competition,” she said.

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.

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