'No place for Uber in Gauteng's meter taxi industry'

'No place for Uber in Gauteng's meter taxi industry'

Meter taxi operators are refusing to share Gauteng's roads with Uber drivers. 

Pieter van der Merwe

Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi on Monday held a press briefing where he announced government's decision to legalise Uber

But the move was met with fierce opposition.

A small group of meter taxi operators confronted Vadi shortly after the briefing shouting: "What are you doing Vadi?" 

The disgruntled drivers chased after the MEC.


Vadi managed to flee through a fire escape to the basement parking of the provincial government building. 

A security guard also fired a single warning shot. 

Provincial government has condemned the incident. It confirms the MEC was not harmed. 

However, an Uber driver was injured during a scuffle with metered taxi operators. 

Shortly after the MEC fled, meter taxi operators confronted an Uber driver and proceeded to assault him once he identified himself. 

Meter taxi drivers say they are unable to compete with Uber's low rates, and claim they will not survive should they join the service and get paid the same rates.

Uber's General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits earlier told the briefing that meter taxi operators are welcome to join their service while working as registered taxi drivers. 

Lits and his colleagues disappeared as soon as the confrontation started.

Taxi drivers now say they cannot allow Uber to continue stealing their livelihoods.

"They're just killing our industry... we are fighting for our jobs," said meter taxi operator Ronny Moremi.

He was one of the drivers who chased after the MEC. 

Another taxi operator who has been in the industry for 36 years, says Uber's rates are not viable.

"People can't afford to even pay the installment of the car through Uber. Now Uber is cutting another 20%," said Sam Mudau.

Uber has strict requirements, which include a limit on kilometers driven. 

Uber vehicles also need to be a 2012 or newer model.

A large group of meter taxi operators occupied the foyer - insisting a meeting with Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

The taxi operators claim the transport department betrayed them.

Pieter van der Merwe
Pieter van der Merwe

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