Uber South Africa said on Monday that it had requested an urgent meeting with the ministers of police and transport to address the ongoing war between its partner drivers and the traditional metered taxi industry, especially in Gauteng

This comes after an Uber partner driver, Lindelani Mashau, died on Monday from serious burn wounds.

Mashau was in his car when it was set alight allegedly by metered taxi drivers outside Loftus Versveld in Pretoria more than a month ago. He survived but suffered extensive burn wounds.

The metered taxi industry has been at loggerheads with Uber drivers since the taxi-hailing app was launched in South Africa. Uber is accused of “stealing business” and operating illegally.

Uber Africa’s spokesperson, Samantha Allenberg, said Uber is aware of the intimidation against driver-partners and riders at the Gautrain Stations.

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Allenberg said in a statement that Uber had hired private security in a bid to ensure safe and reliable pick-ups and drop-offs.

“Using violence and intimidation to limit consumer choice is unacceptable to us, to anyone for that matter. We have requested an urgent meeting with the Police Minister and the Minister of Transport to resolve this situation and we are still waiting for their response,” Allenberg said.

Allenberg said any situation where safety was compromised is absolutely unacceptable to Uber.

“We have also recently partnered with multiple security response services that are able to dispatch security and medical services in emergency situations. We have also hired additional security response teams in areas where our driver-partners and riders have reported intimidation.”

Allenberg said Uber is doing all it can to assist in preventing incidents and provide assistance to driver-partners and riders. However, she said Uber cannot do this alone. Authorities and policy makers need to take a stronger stand to help prevent and condemn these crimes.

“We will continue to provide additional security measures around the stations, however Uber is not a security company and we need Law Enforcement and the Police Minister to get involved and help solve the issue as soon as possible.”

Last month Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said metered taxi-drivers and Uber owners must find a way of working together to end the bloodshed and economic sabotage.

Author: ANA Newswire