Stop Uber drivers from operating or we will‚ metered taxi operators threaten
Bongani Nkosi | 2017-02-08 14:36:36.0
Taxis near the Sandton Gautrain station, where passengers and drivers of Uber vehicles were harassed allegedly by drivers of metered taxis. File photo.
Image by: MOELETSI MABE
Metered taxi operators have upped the tempo in their fight to have Uber stopped from operating in the country.
Hundreds of them marched to the national transport department in Tshwane on Wednesday‚ demanding the expulsion of Uber.
The three-wheeled tuk tuks have also become a target of the operators. “If you fail to stop them‚ we’re going to stop them ourselves‚” they shouted after handing over their memorandum of demands.
Metered taxi operators in the country’s cities have been up in arms against Uber for many months now.
They argue private taxis‚ which are using an American phone application to pick up commuters‚ are forcing them out of business.
Johannesburg metered taxi operators joined forces with their Pretoria counterparts for Wednesday’s march.
The march began at an open space near the Marabastad bus terminal‚ where scores of private cars were left. Under a watchful eye of police‚ the operators sang protest songs outside the transport department. They walked back to Marabastad peacefully.
Their memorandum gave the department 14 working days to act against Uber and the tuk tuks.
Read by Mang-Mang Nkadimeng‚ the memorandum said Uber and the tuk tuks were operating illegally on the country’s roads.
“Uber‚ a foreign company‚ is allowed to bully us as people of this country‚” said Nkadimeng. Members of the EFF and Black First Land First joined the march in solidarity with the metered taxi operators.
“We’re supporting the operators because they want their businesses protected. Uber is an international app‚ while as the EFF we speak about the protection of local industries‚” said MoAfrika Mabogwana‚ deputy chairman of the EFF in Tshwane.
The operators vowed to march to the transport department again if it does not give them a satisfactory response within 14 working days.
– TMG Digital/Sowetan