Uber, me­tered taxis war

The in­ci­dents of vi­o­lent clashes that en­sued again left a num­ber of ve­hi­cles torched in just two days

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Gauteng News - THABISO MACHAKA news@the­newage.co.za

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.

PIC­TURE: FACE­BOOK

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.

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