The Western Cape Metered Taxi Counsel (WCMTC) has accused controversial taxi service Uber of excluding themselves from the industry and stealing clients, following a incident which led to the arrest of a metered taxi driver. The driver in question is now in police custody on charges of robbery and intimidation, following a confrontation with an Uber driver. The counsel has vowed to report those behind the taxi app should they continue to operated illegally.
“Uber has created a ‘taker’ scenario where they take clients from those who have made the industry. We will not allow unlicensed taxi drivers to claim or drive away our clients,” says chairperson for Western Cape Taxi Association Aldino Muller.
The incident saw metered taxi driver, Norman Gunda confront an Uber driver after reportedly witnessing him “pirating”, a term used in the industry to describe those who operate illegally. This comes amidst reports that many drivers for the taxi service are currently operating in the City without any form of transport permit.
“Most of them do not operate with licenses that standard taxi drivers need to obtain,” this is according to the media centre for the Cape Town Traffic Department.
Police have also confirmed the arrest of the individual, who was taken into custody on Thursday.
“A 38-year-old Zimbabwean man employed as a metered taxi driver was arrested in Cape Town CBD on charges of robbery and intimidation. He is in custody until he is due in court,” says Western Cape police spokesperson Andre Traut.
The WCMTC claims the incident occurred due to poor regulation within the industry and called for stricter enforcement.
“We need more help regulating the industry. We are beset with piracy. There is a lack of legal enforcement and a lack of applying the rules. We apply the only legal stance we have and that is to appeal to the authority to enforce the rights of our permits,” says Muller.
They have also vowed to alert the authorities of any further illegal operations.
“We will advocate the authorities to take action against any illegal drivers,” says Muller.
Despite several attempts, VOC was unable to get into contact with the Uber Taxi Service by the time of publication. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)