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WC cabbies to challenge approval of licences for Uber partners

The metered taxi industry is up in arms over the issuing of new operating licences to drivers.

FILE: A metered taxi. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape cab drivers are gearing up to challenge a decision to approve operating licences for their e-hailing rivals.

Last week, the provincial regulating entity approved 145 permit applications from drivers using the Uber platform.

But existing licence holders are not taking the province's decision lying down.

The province's metered taxi industry is up in arms over the issuing of new operating licences to drivers, who it claimed, aren't held to the same rules as the rest of the sector.

Chairperson of the Western Cape Metered Taxi Council, Aldino Muller, said the council had made contact with the secretariat of the Transport Appeal Tribunal, with the view of lodging an official challenge.

A more costly alternative, Muller said, would be to take the matter to court.

"If we go via court to get an immediate injunction against the uplifting of those permits, that's another alternative we have."

The Transport Appeal Tribunal was established to handle appeals emanating from decisions taken by provincial regulatory entities.

The secretariat's Zongezile Matebese said, "If a person is aggrieved, than they can appeal to the tribunal, which is served by members coming from outside of the department."

Uber is also facing strong opposition from the cab industry abroad.

Meanwhile, UberPop has suspended its services in France following protests by taxi drivers.

The online cab-hailing service has also been banned in Germany after a court ruled it violated transport laws.

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