Government must take stronger stand to end taxi violence‚ Uber says

23 October 2017 - 18:49 By Timeslive
Metered taxis and Uber drivers have been at loggerheads for months over business in popular areas. File Photo
Metered taxis and Uber drivers have been at loggerheads for months over business in popular areas. File Photo
Image: LUCY NICHOLSON

Uber says the government must take a stronger stand to end the violence between its drivers and metered taxi drivers.

This comes after the news that popular Afrikaans rapper Jack Parow was recently caught in the crossfire between Uber and metered taxis drivers‚ when he was threatened with a panga to prevent him from taking an Uber.

Metered taxis and Uber drivers have been at loggerheads for months over business in popular areas.

"This is a distressing situation that needs thorough investigation. Our incident response team is reaching out to all parties and will provide whatever support is necessary. We will support the police in their investigation in any way that we can‚” said Uber spokesperson Samantha Allenberg.

“It is just unthinkable that someone used such violence to limit consumer choice. This is unacceptable and police and government need to take a stronger stand against these illegal actions.

“We are deeply committed to the safety of all who use the Uber app. We are doing all we can to assist in preventing incidents and provide assistance to driver-partners and riders‚ but government and authorities must now step in and take a stronger stand to end this violence‚” Allenberg said.

Parrrow told TshisaLIVE that he was threatened near the Gautrain station in Sandton‚ a known hotspot for violent clashes between drivers‚ last month.

"I had just left an event in Sandton City and had ordered an Uber when I spotted a group of guys around a car. While me and my guitarist were waiting for the uber these guys approached us and asked what we were doing. When they heard that we were taking an Uber they said: 'we will break the windows if the Uber comes here and you will see what will happen to you‚" Jack said.

Parow said that the Uber drove past them and parked a short distance away‚ but as they made their way to the car a man ran to his car and grabbed a panga.

"It was insane! I didn't know what to do because I am from Cape Town and didn't know this sh*t was so serious in Joburg. I had a bottle of champagne from my event so I clung tight to it and thought if this guy comes for me I will defend myself with this bottle. We decided not to fight and ran into a nearby hotel to ask for help‚" he said.

Parow claimed that a police van was allegedly parked on the same street as the incident but didn't help.

He decided to speak out about the incident after another friend was rushed to hospital on Sunday after being stabbed three times in the face while climbing into an Uber.

The rapper shared a picture of his friend's severely injured face‚ which was covered in blood and lashed out about the incident.

"How is no one doing f**king anything about this bullsh*t! And don't give me that kak about uber is taking jobs. Thats bullsh*t‚ its still South Africans driving ubers‚ but even if it wasn't how does that condone this behaviour‚" he questioned.

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