The Johannesburg Transport MMC, Kenny Kunene, has called on the public to exercise caution when commuting with e-hailing rides and ensure the drivers are not operating fake services.
It comes as e-hailing drivers protest against the recent damaging and setting alight of e-hailing vehicles in Soweto.
Kunene explains, “When the residents use these e-hailing services, let them make sure that it is a car that they have requested and they must check the number plates. They must not use a car from anyone who tells them that they will charge them half the e-hailing price because these are the people who are operating illegally and some of them are criminals who rob them and violate them. Let them make sure that they use the right taxis and e-hailing services. They must not, if they are going to use e-hailing, be told that they will pay half.”
VIDEO | Soweto residents concerned about safety after e-hailing drivers protest: Kenny Kunene
The Department of Transport has called on the Police Department to work swiftly to calm tensions over e-hailing transportation in Johannesburg.
On Tuesday, police fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse a group of e-hailing service drivers who barricaded roads with their vehicles in Protea Glen, Soweto.
An e-hailing motor vehicle was set alight outside the Protea Glen shopping mall in Soweto. Social media videos show the vehicle on fire.
This follows another incident in which three e-hailing vehicles were damaged and then set alight, allegedly by taxi operators at Maponya Mall in Soweto, last week.
Three people were taken to hospital.
The department’s spokesperson, Collen Msibi, says, “I think that issue is now a criminal issue and the way the e-hailers have been attacked, we believe that the police and justice cluster needs to play an important role. We have been liaising with the police department and they are involved in that so they can deal with the criminality and arrest those involved. We understand that today there is some kind of demonstration that is happening, they are exercising their democratic rights, but we are saying that it is very important for us to fast-track the issue of the amendment of the act.”