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Analysts call for draft amendment of transport act

As Uber drivers received operating licences, the company says many drivers are stuck in a complex system.

FILE: Transport analyst Paul Browning says the draft amendments to the transport act have been completed for a while. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - As discussions around the Uber cab hailing service continues, transport analysts have called for a draft amendment to the transport act.

The online ride service was introduced in South Africa in 2013 but its popularity has sparked tension in the cab industry both in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Last week, the Western Cape Transport Department approved 145 metered taxi operating licence applications to Uber partner drivers but the company says many drivers remain stuck in a complex system without permits.

Transport analyst Paul Browning says the draft amendments to the transport act have been completed for a while.

"It was certainly ready in finished form at the beginning of this year and we are now half way through the year. It would be a good idea if progress was hastened perhaps."

Meanwhile Uber Cape Town general manager Jonathan Ayache says the department's decision is a step in the right direction.

"We hope the remainder of the permits will be issued as a matter of urgency. Given the city's support for over 1,000 permits we expect a balanced approach to enforcement until the backlog of applications has been cleared."

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