Two people were left shaken after they were pulled out of their Uber outside the Gautrain Station in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Monday.
The victim, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear for her safety, spoke to Sandton Chronicle about their ordeal.
“We ordered an Uber and went outside to wait, and after a while, we phoned the driver to tell him to pick us up across the road. As we were crossing the road, we saw a taxi driver run towards the Uber. We got scared and jumped into the Uber,” said the woman.
She said the vehicle was suddenly surrounded by metered taxi drivers, and they were banging on the car and shouting obscenities.
“The next moment we were pulled out of the Uber and tried to get away. Luckily, Uber security was there to try protect us and we were not hurt, but I believe Uber should warn their customers of the potential danger at the station if there is action from the metered taxis.”
Samantha Allenberg, Uber Africa spokesperson, said: “We are aware of the intimidation against driver partners and riders at the Gautrain stations across Gauteng.We have private security onsite monitoring and managing to ensure reliable pick-up and drop-offs.”
Allenberg said the use of violence and intimidation to limit consumer choice in transportation is unacceptable.
“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.” Drivers using the Uber app have access to a 24/7 local emergency line to use when they feel unsafe.
“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.
“We are doing all we can to assist in preventing incidents and provide assistance to driver partners and riders, but we cannot do this alone – authorities and policy-makers need to take a stronger stand to help prevent and condemn these terrible crimes,” said Allenberg.
– Caxton News Service