Amanda Watson news editor The Citizen obituary

By Amanda Watson

News Editor

E-hailing is here to stay, metered taxi drivers warned

Paul Browning said the argument put forward that Uber was illegal was incorrect, as existing legislation simply did not provide for it.

The metered taxi industry shouldn’t expect Uber to disappear any time soon, transport industry analyst Paul Browning said.

“It’s using a version of what we these days call ‘disruptive technology’ – and that’s not going to go away,” said Brown.

He said Uber SA was reaching out to metered taxi drivers to bring them into the business.

“Metered taxis tend to be individually owned, who ally themselves to a taxi association. Some have become Uber drivers because it’s the obvious thing to do.”

He noted the argument put forward by metered taxi drivers that Uber was illegal was incorrect, as existing legislation simply did not provide for it.

“However, the National Land Transport Act amendment Bill is currently going through parliament and that provides a category called e-hailing, which is taking a very long time to get through parliament and if passed, would at least regularise the legal position,” said Brown, who was consulted on the Amendment Bill sitting in the National Assembly.

Police, on the other hand, were caught unawares by Friday’s protest action.

In a radio interview on Friday, acting national commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane said intelligence was received about the impending blockade and police had mobilised to cover the airport, Sandton and the Johannesburg CBD.

In May last year, Gauteng department of roads and transport MEC Ismail Vadi had already begun regulating Uber drivers as public transport operators.

“In terms of the Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) regulations, any public operator should be licensed. PRE is responsible for issuing public transport licences to qualifying public transport operators. It is also responsible for regulating public transport operators by registering public transport associations on its database,” said the DoT.


  •  A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry, or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry – Professor Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business School, 1997


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