Uber, metered taxis war
The incidents of violent clashes that ensued again left a number of vehicles torched in just two days
INCIDENTS of violence between Uber and Taxify taxi operators and metered taxi drivers have ensued yet again, leaving about four vehicles torched in just two days.
This comes a few days after Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi, MEC for community safety Sizakele NkosiMalobane and Gauteng acting MEC for transport Nandi Mayathula Khoza embarked on a walkabout in Sandton to address the ongoing violence between the rival operators.
Police spokesperson, Daniel Mavimbela confirmed that a total of three Taxify vehicles were set alight on Wednesday on separate occasions in Pretoria.
He said two cars were set alight in the afternoon and another in the evening and one more car was slightly damaged.
Mavimbela said they were investigating cases of malicious damage to property and assault. He said they were following up on leads.
“We are on a manhunt for those who committed these crimes. We are appealing to the community for any information to help with the investigations so we can bring those liable to book,” Mavimbela said.
Spokesperson Kay Makhubela confirmed that another Uber vehicle was set alight on Tuesday evening in Hatfield, Pretoria.
“A case of attempted murder, intimidation and malicious damage to property has been opened, following violence but no arrests have been made yet,” he said. In all incidents there were no injuries reported.
Uber South Africa has since launched a petition calling on Maswanganyi and Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula to intervene.
“We call on South Africans to come together and sign the petition in order to tell Maswanganyi and Mbalula that they need to work for the citizens of this country and ensure that Uber driver-partners continue to earn a living without fear and consumers can choose how and with whom they want to travel with,” Alon Lits general manager for Uber sub-Saharan Africa said.
Spokesperson for Uber Samantha Allenberg said: “We are aware of the situation.
We have private security on site and in app messages to drivers or riders informing them of the situation and the cautionary steps to take. We are engaging the necessary authorities as well on the matter.
“We will continue to monitor the situation from our side. It is unacceptable that these metered taxi operators continue their violent acts in an effort to dictate how the citizens choose to travel around their city,” Allenburg said.
Nkosi-Malobane said at the walkabout that should violence continue between the two road-based public transport service providers, thier routes would have to be shut down.
Department of transport spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said the issue of the ongoing violence between two operators was now in the hands of the provincial government.
“We say those who are responsible for the crimes should be arrested, those who are operating unlawfully, their vehicles should be impounded and people should comply with the roads act. And we will stand by that,” he said.
He said police were deployed in all the hot spot areas.
UNRESOLVED CONFLICT: Clashes between Uber, Taxify and metered taxi drivers resulted in the torching of four vehicles just days after the violence was addressed by stakeholders.