Drivers clash over Uber in Cape Town - TechCentral

Drivers clash over Uber in Cape Town


Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) spokeswoman Deidre Davids confirmed on Friday that an attempt to block access to Cape Town International Airport had taken place earlier during a reported clash between meter taxi drivers and Uber drivers.

The attempt, however, was unsuccessful she said.

“This did not impact on the airport’s operations in any way. The police and traffic authorities responded quickly.”

GroundUp reported earlier that Uber drivers were forced to go offline because they feared that their vehicles would be torched during the alleged violent attack on Friday morning. Meter taxi drivers reportedly closed the road leading to Cape Town International Airport and allegedly forced passengers out of an Uber vehicle.

In an attempt to resolve the conflict, police reportedly negotiated with both the meter taxi and Uber drivers.

Uber drivers were then advised to leave the airport.

Uber spokeswoman Samantha Allenberg said there were isolated instances of intimidation at the airport that were reported on Friday morning.

“On being notified, we immediately reached out to relevant stakeholders to help resolve the situation. We spoke to the rider and driver-partners and we were relieved to hear that nobody was hurt.”

Allenberg said after the incident, drivers in the area were operating as normal.

“Uber is a safe, reliable, convenient and affordable way to get to and from A to B. Our technology makes it possible to focus on safety for riders and drivers before, during and after every trip in ways that have never been possible before,” she said.

She said earlier that drivers have a security number they can use should they feel unsafe at any time.”

Davids said the airport would continue to work with the police and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of the public.

Western Cape police spokeswoman Noloyiso Rwexana said the police were not aware of any violence that took place.



  1. GreenOrangeKat on

    While I may consider using an Uber driven taxi service, I definitely wouldn’t one of the metered taxis. It is this sort of thuggery that enforces my continued perception and abhorrence to metered taxis in general. In the long run they alone are to blame for the people looking for alternate forms of transportation.

  2. Michel Callaghan on

    One company can not dominate an entire industry. We also have the right to earn.

  3. Michel Callaghan on

    So now all of us cab drivers are thugs and we’re to blame for Ubers dominance.

  4. Greg Thornton on

    You don’t have the ‘right’, you have the ‘opportunity’ to earn. In order to exploit that opportunity, you need to be part of an eco-system that innovates and delivers greater benefit to consumers. The traditional metered taxi model does none of that.

  5. Michel Callaghan on

    The only reason why people use Uber is because its “Dirt Cheap”. It might favor you but it certainly does not favor the driver. You think that metered taxi companies are the only ones hurting from Ubers presence, it affects charter and chauffeur companies. Uber is a destructive company who does not abide by taxi laws. Anyone who accepts cash payment,etc for any transport service has to be legal before offering any such service and not all Uber vehicles are legal.

  6. Greg Thornton on

    No it’s not. You’re very misinformed and you actually represent the mindset of the legacy taxi / charter / chauffeur industry. The #1 reason why people use Uber is because it puts the customer in charge – ‘on demand’ and ‘reliable’. The ability to pay by card, price benefits from a more honest / efficient service and the rating system are probably the next reasons. Price isn’t. If Uber X charged 66% more (i.e. R10 per km), it’d still take all the business away from the legacy operator.

  7. Michel Callaghan on

    Uber started off illegal and is still operating illegal, they don’t belong in our industry.

  8. Shame, Michel, you need protection from competition rather than lifting your game. Pathetic little crybaby….

  9. Andrew Fraser on

    The meter taxi industry is moaning because they’re being out-competed. Most users of Uber would never think to use a meter-taxi, didn’t in the past and wouldn’t in the future. If I was flying to Cape Town, I would rent a car rather than use meter taxis. Why? Because the meter taxi regulations are anti-consumer; because the prices of meter taxis are ridiculously high; because of poor experiences with trip extensions and “non-working” meters, experiences with dirty vehicles and sullen drivers. The meter taxi experience is poor from begin to end.

    The taxi industry, rather than lobbying for an easing of stupid regulations and upping their own game, is in a downward spiral of victimhood. Asking government to protect them from someone who does what they do, but better, is not the solution.

    Uber are no angels, but the reason for their success is their customer focus. Meter taxis should lean from that. Throwing stones, burning cars and beating up Uber drivers sends the exact opposite message to your customers.

  10. Michel Callaghan on

    Wouldn’t you moan, if you were out-competed in your industry. Before, Uber people were using Taxis and still do. Hiring a vehicle from the Airport, is great. Reason why the rate per km is at R10 per km, is because its the standard rate and has been like that for a good couple of years. The taxi meters do work, if not working, then there is something wrong with vehicles speedometer because it works with that. Cabs that are dirty can be expected, especially if that cab is constantly moving but it is the drivers responsibility to clean it. Drivers in this industry can be rude but its a stressful job. The problem in South Africa with metered taxi companies is that drivers are not properly trained before they are handed the keys to the vehicle. Firstly they need to have passed an advanced driving defence course, secondly they need to have passed a geographical knowledge test of the city where they will be working and must also know landmarks. Thirdly they need to take the shortest route possible to the clients destination. If drivers were properly trained, maybe this industry would be used more often. Reason why a lot of cab owners can’t join Uber, is because some can’t afford to buy new cars. How many Uber owners are actually driving their own vehicles, none of those drivers owns the vehicle, they all working for someone. Doesn’t it tell you something.

  11. Andrew Fraser on

    I know what they should do. But they don’t.

    And most Uber people didn’t use taxis, mainly because it was a hassle – maybe different in Cape Town, but in Joburg that is the case. And some of the people that used to use taxis now use Uber, because the experience is better, and it is cheaper – plus you know how much it’ll be before you leave and you can monitor the route on the app.

    And, of the UberX drivers that I’ve dealt with in Joburg, about 25% are driving their own cars.

    It’s tough to be in a business that is being disrupted, much like insurance brokers in 2005. But that doesn’t mean that the government or public owes you anything.

  12. Michel Callaghan on

    I book a chauffeur service to get around when i need a ride and sometimes i take a metered taxi, if there just happens to be one in the vicinity. I obviously prefer the chauffeur service because i am picked up in a Mercedes S-Class and the chauffeur is properly dressed in a suit and tie and extremely well-mannered.

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