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'Unsafe' Uber, Bolt drivers in Joburg call on Cele’s intervention

Scores of the drivers took part in a protest on Wednesday where they also raised concerns over what they say were exorbitant fees deducted by the e-hailing companies.

FILE; Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Disgruntled Uber and Bolt drivers said they no longer felt safe in Joburg and were calling for Police Minister Bheki Cele’s intervention.

Scores of the drivers took part in a protest on Wednesday where they also raised concerns over what they say were exorbitant fees deducted by the e-hailing companies.

The workers travelled by convoy from Parkview to the Uber and Bolt headquarters in Marlboro, Sandton, to hand over their memorandum of demands.

What was meant to be a peaceful protest quickly turned sour when police clashed with some of the drivers as they entered the Sandton area.

Rubber bullets were fired forcing the group to disperse.

Protest organiser Sibusiso Ngwenya said they were not deterred: “We get robbed every day and also being harassed by the taxi associations…”

Police insist their presence is to maintain order.

Spokesperson Kay Makhubela said: “I can’t give you the number but what I can tell you is that we have enough members who can police the march.”

The drivers said they did not feel protected on the roads and wanted Cele to act.

VIDEO: The employers are exploiting us, says Bolt and Uber drivers

Although Uber and Bolt serve over one million active users in South Africa, drivers for the e-hailing companies are among many feeling the economic pinch.

Officials from the companies failed to accept their memorandum, with Uber tweeting that it’s investigating the protest.

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