South Africa Meter-Taxi Operators Attacking Uber Drivers
Meter-taxi drivers in South Africa are attacking those that operate cars and use Uber Technologies Inc., and the ride-hailing service has called for a meeting with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to help stop the violence.
Uber has hired private security to protect drivers and customers at violent hot spots such as the Gautrain station in Sandton in northern Johannesburg, Jonathan Ayache, the service’s general manager in the country, said on Johannesburg-based broadcaster Talk Radio 702 Monday.
“The intimidation and violence need to stop,” he said. Drivers can now determine where the hot spots are through the Uber application, he said.
This weekend, an Uber driver died after a June 10 attack by an unidentified group of people in which his car was set alight and he sustained injuries, the service said in an emailed statement Monday. Members of the police are investigating the incident.
Metered-taxi operators have objected to competition from Uber in cities around the world, including Paris and Jakarta. In May last year, shots were fired in Johannesburg’s Sandton financial district as drivers attacked Uber counterparts in a territorial dispute between workers for the U.S. ride-hailing service and traditional taxi motorists. This March, drivers blocked the main highways around the country’s biggest airport.
By Loni Prinsloo