Uber vs metered taxi war sees 200 intimidation incidents in a month

Since meeting with metered taxis representatives, the Departments of Transport and Police to discuss a way to deal with clashes, Uber has recorded 200 incidents of intimidation against its drivers.

This information is contained in an online petition the company drew up last week, to get government to “take a stand against the intimidation and violence directed at Uber driver-partners”.

“Like all South Africans, driver-partners using the Uber app want to exercise their freedom to do their jobs and earn a living for their families without fear of intimidation and violence. However, the authorities and regulators whose responsibility it is to protect the citizens of this country and their consumer choice, are not taking firm enough action against violent criminals, and the violence against drivers choosing technology apps such as Uber continues unabated,” the petition on reads.

The company said that despite a number of discussions with regulators and policy makers, most recently with the Police Ministry on 27th July, there have been over 200 recorded incidents against drivers since the July meetings, and still no meaningful interventions or arrests have been made.

Th petition comes after three vehicles were burned in Sandton last week following violent clashes between drivers on both sides.

Government again called for calm and no arrests have been made yet. Two Uber drivers have been viciously attacked in the past three months, leading to the death of one of them after he succumbed to injuries.

“The Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula have made a number of statements that they denounced acts of violence, torching of vehicles and intimidation. However little has been done to stop this criminal activity, and some metered taxi operators continue their violent acts in an effort to dictate how the citizens of Johannesburg choose to move around their city,” Uber said.

The petition has garnered 36 000 of 50 000 signatures in the last few days.


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