Thousands of revellers descending on Durban for the Rage Festival have fuelled simmering tensions between Uber taxi drivers and minibus taxis contracted by the organisers.
A video purportedly showing “Rage Rides” taxi drivers assaulting an Uber driver, one of many points of contestation between the two, has surfaced.
The video is understood to have been shot at the weekend on Durban’s Stamford Hill Road.
The minibus taxis have been contracted by the festival to transport partygoers between events, and work on a token system.
Festival spokesman Darren Sandras said that they were aware of escalating tensions, and had taken steps to mitigate them for the “safety of our patrons”.
“Unfortunately the festival has been caught in an ongoing rivalry [between Uber and minibus taxi associations] around the country and what we are doing is everything in our power to ensure the safety of our patrons,” Sandras said.
“We have asked for an increased police presence and also made separate pick-up and drop-off points for the different transport networks. As Rage Festival we are also paying the taxi associations for their loss of income as a result of Uber. We do not condone this and we have put measures in place to mitigate tensions,” said Sandras.
Uber spokesman Samantha Allenberg said that threats and violence were unacceptable.
“The intimidation and threats of violence, from the primary transport providers to Rage Festival, only underlines why people are increasingly choosing safe, reliable alternatives like Uber. The threats and intimidation against those choosing to use the Uber platform are unacceptable,” she said.
“We call on the Rage organisers to bring their suppliers to task or secure police intervention to help ensure everyone can enjoy a safe, affordable, hassle-free time travelling however they choose to get around Durban,” she said.
“We are working with all relevant stakeholders in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to resolve this as a matter of urgency,” she added. — News24