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Taxi industry currently in talks over Uber

Officials are in talks with key taxi industry players to discuss regulation and policy issues.

Uber has since deployed security to hotspots to deal with its drivers being threatened. Picture: Uber.com.

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg officials are currently in talks with all taxi industry players to discuss regulation and policy issues around the operation of Uber cabs.

Uber drivers have faced intimidation in Sandton and other major routes by metered taxi drivers who say the online app competes unfairly for business.

An illegal protest was held outside Uber's offices in Johannesburg on Friday by metered taxi drivers.

The cab hailing service has since deployed security to hotspots to deal with its drivers being threatened.

MMC for transport Christine Walters said, "We are meeting with all the metre taxi operators and users to have a discussion around where are we taking this business to, where we are currently and what can we do to assist them as the city."

Uber says it has tried to work with the metered taxi associations since the beginning of the year, but its drivers are still being intimidated and harassed.

The MMC for transport has called for a balance between safety and competition with regards to the latest Uber battle.

The city council's Lisa Selfte said, "Both the city and the metre taxi operators are aware of what commuters want. What we need is to get a balance between safety and security and competition."

INTIMIDATION OF UBER DRIVERS & PASSENGERS CONDEMNED

The Johannesburg Metered Taxi Association condemned the intimidation of passengers using Uber services in some parts of the city.

The association's Fred Skhosana said that while their members should not take the law into their own hands, he sympathises with their frustrations.

"We must also recognise our right to operate where we have the right to operate, like operating licenses. I don't condone that passengers should be intimidated."