Metered taxi drivers in JHB demand answers over Uber

Drivers say officials are side-lining them by going ahead with registering & licencing of Uber drivers.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Metered taxi drivers have blocked the street outside the Transport Department in the Johannesburg CBD, accusing officials of side-lining them by going ahead with the registration and licencing of Uber drivers.

Gauteng Transport MEC Ismael Vadi says the service currently operates in a legal vacuum and the national department is working on redefining the Transport Act to include technological developments.

He says the department has facilitated discussions with Uber and the metered taxi drivers.

"I think there's a better appreciation of what the two different business models look like and Uber has indicated to them that they are quite willing to take on a conventional metre taxi operator."

Vadi says Uber drivers now have 30 days to register with the department in the same category as their metered counterparts.

But some metered drivers say the department did not consult with them before making the decision, and they've now blocked the street outside the Transport Department in the CBD with their cars.

Taxi owner Ronnie Moremi says the drivers will stay put until they get answers.

"They didn't go through the Metered Taxi Council. When you apply for the permit, you must go through the Metered Taxi Council. They jumped us, they did everything with the department of transport. That is why we are fighting."