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Uber says it will have ‘zero’ tolerance for drivers who turned violent during protest

26 June 2018 - 16:28 By Petru Saal
Four Uber drivers were arrested and three vehicles were impounded in Green Point.
Four Uber drivers were arrested and three vehicles were impounded in Green Point.
Image: Robert Galbraith / Reuters

Uber South Africa said it will have zero tolerance for drivers who turned violent during Tuesday's protest in Green Point‚ Cape Town.

"We are currently speaking to authorities to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the violence that occurred in Green Point today‚ in order to confirm if any of these drivers involved are using our app‚" said general manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits.

"We have a zero tolerance policy towards violence and intimidation of any kind and this goes against our community guidelines. If a driver is found to be involved‚ they will immediately lose access to the Uber app."

Images of the group of drivers making their way through Green Point and Cape Town CBD hooting and driving slowly was shared widely on social media.

Lits said the grievances drivers expressed during Tuesday’s protest could be communicated to the company through any of the available channels.

"We respect drivers as valuable partners with a voice and a choice and we want drivers to feel they can talk to us about their individual concerns at any time‚" he said.

On the issue of fares‚ Lits said they were constantly monitoring the fare system to ensure drivers and passengers were getting value for money when making use of the app.

"We’re committed to supporting the men and women who drive with Uber across South Africa and we understand that fuel is one of the biggest weekly expenses for drivers‚ which is why drivers can also access rewards that help them reduce costs and keep more of their earnings.

“This exclusive programme provides deals such as fuel rebates‚ cell phone deals‚ maintenance and healthcare‚" Lits said.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Richard Coleman said four Uber drivers were arrested and three vehicles were impounded in Green Point.

"At approximately 10am this morning‚ Uber drivers blocked the road outside the Traffic Department in Green Point. Traffic officers were called to the scene to clear the roadway. On arrival the Uber drivers got out of their vehicles.

“On trying to move the vehicles‚ seven officers were assaulted; five males and two females had slight injuries. There were four Uber drivers arrested for assault‚ illegal gathering and illegal protesting. Three vehicles were also impounded for obstructing. The roadway was cleared at 12.20pm."