Soweto e-hailing drivers fearing for their lives

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The Soweto United E-hailing Association says the taxi industry in Gauteng is preventing them from earning a living. Last night, three Uber vehicles were burnt at Maponya Mall in Soweto.

This comes after a confrontation between minibus taxi drivers and e-hailing drivers.

It is alleged that minibus taxi drivers attacked e-hailing drivers and burnt three vehicles and damaged four others at the Maponya Mall parking area.

Treasurer of the association, Senzo Mlambo says Uber drivers are fearing for their lives.

“To tell you the truth, it is very bad. It is not something that started yesterday. It’s going on for long, including the crime we have in SA. At the end of the day, we wake up early and try to make sure that we do something. We help people with transportation. We need to feed our families and then you have someone that will sabotage you like that. You end up going home with nothing. They might kill you and you don’t make it home. Even us we are trying to a little.”

Solutions being sought after e-hailing taxi services drivers reportedly attacked at Maponya Mall:

Gauteng traffic intervention

According to the Gauteng Transport Department, three people were rushed to hospital after shots were fired. Traffic Police’s public transport intervention unit will be deployed to Maponya Mall.

Gauteng Traffic Police Spokesperson, Sello Maremane says, “We are really concerned at law enforcement…our intervention unit will be patrolling the area….and we urge the public to report lawlessness to police.”

Meanwhile, the Private Public Transport Association (PPTA) says government needs to do more to help regulate the sector.

PPTA’s Spokesperson, Vhatuka Mbelengwa says, “It’s another violent within the e-hailing industry. Where it emanates from exactly or who are the people that are leading this attack, I cannot yet confirm. But history is repeating itself. I think who we can truly blame is government for failing to intervene and regulate the industry and to ensure a healthy ecosystem emerges within public transportation so that we can complement and not compete with each other.” -Additional reporting by Tshepo Phagane