Alleged special treatment govt gives to Uber drivers recipe for violence - Santaco

The council says one its main concerns is the operating licenses granted to Uber drivers.

Meter taxi drivers have blocked roads in the Johannesburg CBD during a demonstration against the Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi. Picture: Emily Corke/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has described the alleged special treatment government is giving Uber drivers as a recipe for violence.

Minibus taxi drivers have joined Gauteng metered taxi operators in expressing dissatisfaction with what they say is the ease with which Uber drivers have been allowed to work.

Later this month, government will hold a summit with the taxi industry, where Santaco says it expects the issue of Uber drivers in the province to be adequately addressed.

Santaco's Ralph Jones said changes being introduced to the Uber operating model are giving the service an unfair advantage in the taxi industry.

"Instead of picking up one person, they can now pick up five or more and they're no longer going to use credit cards as well, it means they can just stop next to a rank and load our commuters."

He said government also needs to be mindful of the special treatment it's giving Uber drivers.

"If the government does not look at this thing properly, there will be violence. If the MEC is going to give them permits, why didn't he start with us?"

The council says one of its main concerns is the operating licenses granted to Uber drivers, while long-standing minibus taxi operators are still waiting to be issued permits.