Metered taxis threaten to put a stop to Uber

Earlier this week minister of transport said Uber drivers should apply for licences and operating permits.

Resentful metered taxi drivers have threatened to put a stop to Uber operations if the department of transport fails to regulate the popular mode of public transport.

Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi earlier this week said Uber drivers should now apply for licences and operating permits, which would limit them to operate in permitted areas.

Secretary for the Gauteng Provincial Metered Taxi Council Hendrick Ndou said yesterday Maswanganyi should implement the regulations “immediately” to ensure peace between the two conflicting industries.

“It must happen immediately as these people are operating every day. If not, we will stop them by not allowing them to pick up any customers. Uber is an app. They shouldn’t refer to themselves as a taxi. If they do not have permits and are regulated, why must they operate?” he said.

Maswanganyi had recognised Uber’s fair pricing as its main selling point, but Ndou said the regulation of Uber taxis should include pricing, saying the gap of costs between the two similar services should be narrowed.

“If a metered taxi charges R50, then Uber should also charge R50. Regulating them means regulating their prices. People are using this illegal service as their prices are reasonable,” he said.

In response to Maswanganyi’s call for regulation, Uber Africa spokesperson Samantha Allenberg said driver-partners using the app have completed the required steps in applying for operating licences under the current National Land Transport Act.

Following recent attacks in Pretoria, Allenberg said the taxi service partnered with multiple security response services.

“We are deeply committed to the safety of both riders and drivers and have a dedicated team working 24/7 to support our commitment to safety.”

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