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Iconic taxi service Mozzie Cabs falls prey to Uber and Taxify

28 June 2018 - 14:11 By Jeff Wicks
Competition from Uber and Taxify has forced Mozzie Cabs to shut down.
Competition from Uber and Taxify has forced Mozzie Cabs to shut down.
Image: Gallo Images/iStock

Unable to compete with ride-sharing companies Uber and Taxify‚ iconic Durban meter-taxi institution Mozzie Cabs has closed its doors.

Mozzie Cabs had run for nearly two decades and employed 150 people – from drivers to administrative staff - before the online taxi services forced it to shut down.

This was the evidence by Mozzie Cabs director Peter Lehman at the Competition Commission’s hearing into the passenger transport sector in Durban on Thursday.

“It was a household name for people in Durban who wanted a meter taxi. A lot of effort went in to the quality of service… including systems to ensure that our clients got a quality service and that we complied with all the legislation‚” he said.

“Mozzie Cabs has been a very compliant company. It was marginally profitable until about three years ago but I am very sad to say that in the last two weeks we could not continue operations‚” Lehman added.

He said that prices charged by the online companies were impossible to compete with and were almost half of their reduced rate per kilometre.

“With the tide of the prices charged by e-hailing companies‚ the subsequent loss of business because of this‚ we had to close our doors. 150 employees are out of a job. We tried to develop an e-hailing app but the cost of running a legally compliant business meant we had to charge more.

“Compared to the current charging rate of Uber and Taxify‚ we just couldn’t compete‚ and although our app worked‚ unfortunately consumers decided to go the cheaper way‚” he added.

The commission is investigating whether the public transport sector might be restrictive or distorted.

It has this month been holding public hearings around the country‚ focusing on price setting mechanisms‚ price regulation‚ route allocation and allocation of operational subsidies.