South Africa 7.9.2017 09:15 pm

UPDATE: Uber confirms one registered vehicle set alight in Sandton

The remains of a burnt Taxify taxi that had allegedly been attacked and petrol-bombed. The driver managed to escape, leaving the car to roll down the road and stop against an apartment building fence, 21 June 2017, Sunnyside, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The remains of a burnt Taxify taxi that had allegedly been attacked and petrol-bombed. The driver managed to escape, leaving the car to roll down the road and stop against an apartment building fence, 21 June 2017, Sunnyside, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

According to reports, the situation in Sandton was tense, as the Uber drivers were looking for the metered taxi drivers who allegedly set their cars alight.

Ride-sharing app, Uber on Thursday confirmed that a car registered on the application was set alight in Sandton.

“We’re aware of the situation in Sandton. At this time we can confirm that one vehicle is registered to use the Uber app (1/2),” Uber South Africa tweeted shortly before 9pm.

“We are currently investigating the second vehicle (2/2).”

Earlier, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department said two taxis were set alight on Thursday night.

“We can confirm that two Uber taxis were set alight on Maude Street and West Street in Sandton. According to the information we have so far, there are no injuries. The scene has been cordoned off,” spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

According to reports, the situation in Sandton was tense on Thursday night, as the Uber drivers went looking for the mob of metered taxi drivers who allegedly petrol bombed the cars.

The police were not immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile, Twitter users said that the cars were petrol bombed and calling the situation “volatile” after police had to reportedly use stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

One user wrote: “Just as I was about to mission to groove they burn 3 Uber’s in front of our hotel and pour petrol on the driver [sic]”.

Another user tweeted: “Taxi drivers are burning Uber’s in Sandton. Stay safe if you taking Uber tonight”.

Another tweeted: “Uber drivers are not safe anywhere in Jo’burg its so sad..”

Meanwhile, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba called on provincial authorities to intervene tweeting, “The Uber/Meter taxi matter is unfortunately outside my direct jurisdiction. We hope the Provincial structures will appropriately handle.”

Incidences between metered taxi drivers, who are losing market share and Uber drivers have become physical in the last few months. In July an Uber driver died from his injuries after his car was set alight near Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria. The SA Meter Taxi Association has persistently denied any involvement in the attacks on Uber drivers.

 

The Citizen Trail Run 2018

today in print