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'Uber drivers treated just like other cab drivers'

More than 200 Uber cars have been impounded in Cape Town since the beginning of January.

FILE: The internet service connects users to drivers through an app. Picture: Official Facebook page.

CAPE TOWN - City officials say they are required to be even handed when enforcing public transport-related legislation, which means Uber drivers are treated the same way as other cab drivers.

More than 200 Uber cars have been impounded in the city since the beginning of January.

There's a row over how Uber drivers should be operating in Cape Town.

The internet service, which has taken off after being introduced in Johannesburg in August 2013, connects users to drivers through an app.

The City's JP Smith says Uber drivers are falling foul of the law by not ensuring they have the required operating licence.

Drivers operate on a chartered licence in Johannesburg, which is meant to be less onerous to obtain than a metered taxi permit, which is required in Cape Town.

The company's Alon Lits claims there has been inconsistent interpretation of the National Land Transport Act.

"The national government has issued a practice note which states that partners should be applying for chartered service operating licences."

Lits claims drivers in Cape Town have been waiting for over six months for an operating licence because of an apparent bottleneck in issuing these permits.