METERED taxi drivers attacked the MEC of Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi,at the Agriculture and Rural development offices in the Johannesburg city centre on yesterday (Monday) shortly after announcing the that his department had started the process of issuing operating licences for Uber taxis.
Following the announcement, and as Vadi was getting ready to leave the launch where he had demonstrated the application process, a group of men, who told the media that they were metered taxi drivers, attacked the MEC. He was pushed around by the men but managed to escape with the help of his security guards.
One of the group of men pushed over the Roads and Transport banners had been on display, as well as the table where the MEC had addressed the media from.
One of the metered taxi drivers, Moses Sepadi, said later: “Our guys have gone to the office of the Premier because we don’t agree to what has been done here today. Vadi has done something wrong. We want the premier to stop of the operation of Uber. We are legal taxi operators in South Africa and we don’t operate illegally. Each taxi company must have a point A and point B which Uber doesn’t have.”
Earlier on during the media briefing Vadi said that the regulation came about due to the growing demand for the service.
“The aim is to ensure the continuation of a public transport service for the people of Gauteng who have come to rely on Uber as a mode of transport.”
Vadi said that the department encouraged the use of legal modes of public transport that helped to ease congestion.
“Passengers are reminded that their lives are in the hands of these service providers and are driven around by drivers with the correct documentation,” he said.
Uber started in Cape Town in 2013 after a six-week testing phase. It is run around the world but has been discontinued in some countries due to issues mainly around regulation. – ANA