Task team formed to address Uber-meter taxi conflict: Makhura

17 September 2017 - 14:47 By Ernest Mabuza
ANC Gauteng secretary David Makhura.
ANC Gauteng secretary David Makhura.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has announced that a special task force has been formed to stop the violence between meter taxi drivers and Uber operators in the province.

"You will see a lot of police operations over the next few days‚" Makhura said on Sunday as he explained how law enforcement agencies would deal with close to 300 incidents of violence that had been reported since the beginning of the year.

Tshwane registered 204 incidents‚ Johannesburg registered 86 and Ekurhuleni registered four. Most of the incidents occurred around Gautrain stations in Hatfield and Sandton.

Earlier this month‚ Sandton city streets resembled a war zone as Uber taxi drivers embarked on a rampage to avenge an attack on two of their drivers‚ whose vehicles were petrol-bombed.

Police blocked off roads in Sandton outside the Gautrain station as they tried to contain a feud between metered taxi drivers and Uber taxi drivers.

This followed the petrol bombing of two Uber cars outside the Gautrain station allegedly by metered taxi operators.

There have only been 28 arrests‚ although there were 166 cases under investigation.

"Over the last few months‚ there has been a very disturbing trend pertaining to metered taxi operators and Uber operators‚" Makhura said.

He said if the conflict was allowed to continue‚ it might lead to a situation where hired assassins are drawn into the conflict.

"The introduction of the special task force is a different thing. We know police have a lot on their hands. The reason we have decided we need a special task force is that we will have a dedicated police team to deal with this crime‚" Makhura said.

He said the task team would comprise of the metropolitan police members‚ police service members and intelligence services members.