Metered taxi drivers in South Africa are attacking those that operate cars and use Uber Technologies, and the ride-hailing service has called for a meeting with police minister Fikile Mbalula to help stop the violence.
Uber has hired private security to protect drivers and customers at violent hot spots such as the Gautrain station in Sandton in northern Johannesburg, Jonathan Ayache, the service’s GM in the country, said on Johannesburg-based broadcaster Talk Radio 702 on Monday.
“The intimidation and violence need to stop,” he said. Drivers can now determine where the hot spots are through the Uber application, he said.
This weekend, an Uber driver died after a 10 June attack by an unidentified group of people in which his car was set alight and he sustained injuries, the service said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. Members of the police are investigating the incident.
Metered taxi operators have objected to competition from Uber in cities around the world, including Paris and Jakarta. In May last year, shots were fired in Johannesburg’s Sandton financial district as drivers attacked Uber counterparts in a territorial dispute between workers for the US ride-hailing service and traditional taxi motorists. This March, drivers blocked the main highways around the country’s biggest airport. — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP