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Maswanganyi denounces violence between Uber, metered taxi drivers

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi has reminded all drivers of a decision taken by government last month that all public transport operators, including those registered with Uber, must abide by the National Transport Act.

FILE: Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi has denounced the violence and intimidation between Uber and meter taxi drivers.

Two Uber cars were petrol bombed near the Gautrain Station allegedly by meter taxi drivers on Thursday night.

Furious Uber drivers then retaliated and moved around Sandton attacking stationary meter taxi cars and those moving past the area.

At least one metered taxi was torched near the Sandton Convention Centre.

Maswanganyi has reminded all drivers of a decision taken by the government last month that all public transport operators, including those registered with Uber, must abide by the National Transport Act.

The minister’s spokesperson Ismail Mnisi says that both Uber and meter taxi drivers’ committed to this in a bid to resolve the challenges currently facing the industry.

“We’re currently waiting for the conclusion of the investigations by the law enforcement officers. Upon receiving of the report, the minister will summon all the affected parties to another discussion in order for us to bring stability to this industry.”

WATCH: Vehicles torched as Uber operators, metered taxis drivers clash

Police have been patrolling the Sandton area since Thursday night, ensuring that the situation doesn’t get out of control. One SAPS car is parked on West Street.

Officers are patrolling the area on foot and still taking statements from witnesses and those involved in last night’s violence.

There’s no sign of the torched cars and it’s business as usual as people make their way to and from the Gautrain Station.

Only one metered taxi has been spotted around the corner from the station.

Police say that no one was injured when the cars were petrol bombed last night and no one has yet been arrested.

Meanwhile, Uber's General Manager in South Africa, Jonathan Ayache, says that they are disappointed that police are not doing enough to act on violence against its operators.

Ayache says policy makers and law enforcement must step in.

“I can’t imagine how frustrated Uber drivers must be at the moment. I mean it’s been consistent violence against them for months and all that they want to do is earn an income to provide for their families without fear of violence and intimidation.

“But any form of retaliation is unacceptable and it’s against our company guidelines.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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