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Private meter taxi drivers protest outside Uber offices

More than 40 drivers gathered near a park in Sandton before moving to Uber's head office.

FILE: JMPD are still trying to establish what the driver’s demands are. Picture: Freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - Private meter taxi drivers have staged an illegal gathering outside the Uber offices in Parktown North this afternoon.

More than 40 drivers gathered near a park in Sandton before moving to the cab service's head office.

Johannesburg Metro Police are still trying to establish what their demands are.

Police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said, "At this stage we are not sure what the protest is about. The march is not legal; they did not obtain permission from the police. My team from events is going to engage with them and request them to disperse."

Meanwhile, Uber is appealing to its Cape Town users to sign an online petition in an attempt to pressure Western Cape officials to issue its drivers with operating permits.

More than 200 Uber cars have been impounded in the city since the beginning of January because they did not have the necessary documents.

In a message to its users, Uber s aid stringent regulations in the Western Cape and intimidation will affect job creation by preventing the company's drivers from operating in Cape Town.

The company said the process of issuing operating permits, which should take no longer than a few weeks has been dragging on for over six months.

It said similar permits have been issued to metered taxi operators during this very same period.

The Western Cape Transport department said it's trying to ensure Uber drivers operate within the confines of the law.

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

We have and will continue to fully support @Uber_RSA and their properly licensed drivers http://t.co/Nl5h4a1caF

I don't think @Uber_RSA should be seen as competition, it is yet another alternative to transportation. @helenzille @PatriciaDeLille

Don't let regulation destroy thousands of jobs #CTNeedsUber @Uber_RSA - SIGN HERE: https://t.co/vdBgdFQVPw

Let's RT @_WeSocial: Support @Uber_RSA sign the #CTneedsUber petition today https://t.co/qqgcrpjOhs pic.twitter.com/OyFiXFaiNl

The Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) meets next Thurs. If City supports Uber_RSA 's applications, licences will be issued.