EXCLUSIVE: Two women pulled out of an Uber by meter taxi drivers in Sandton

Two women were left shaken on 17 July after they were pulled out of their Uber by meter taxi drivers outside the Gautrain Station.  The victim, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear for her safety, spoke to Sandton Chronicle about their ordeal.

“We ordered an Uber and went outside to wait and after a while, we phoned the driver to tell him to pick us up across the road. As we were crossing the road we saw a taxi driver run towards the Uber. We got scared and jumped into the Uber,” said the woman.

She said that the vehicle was suddenly surrounded by meter taxi drivers and they were banging on the car and shouting things. 

“The next moment we were pulled out of the Uber and tried to get away. Luckily Uber security was there to try to protect us and we were not hurt, but I believe Uber should warn their customers of the potential danger at the station if there is action from the meter taxis.”

Samantha Allenberg, Uber Africa spokesperson said, “We are aware of the intimidation against driver partners and riders at the Gautrain stations across Gauteng. We have private security onsite monitoring and managing to ensure reliable pick-up and drop-offs.”

Uber vehicle set alight on Sandton Drive allegedly by metered taxi drivers

Allenberg said the use of violence and intimidation to limit consumer choice in transportation is unacceptable.  “We have requested an urgent meeting with the Police Minister and the Minister of Transport to resolve this situation and we are still waiting for their response.” Drivers using the Uber app have access to a 24/7 local emergency line to use when they feel unsafe.

“We have also recently partnered with multiple security response services that are able to dispatch security and medical services in emergency situations. We have also hired additional security response teams in areas where our driver partners and riders have reported intimidation.

“We are doing all we can to assist in preventing incidents and provide assistance to driver partners and riders, but we cannot do this alone – authorities and policy-makers need to take a stronger stand to help prevent and condemn these terrible crimes,” concluded Allenberg.

 

In another incident, Constable David Mothapo, the spokesperson for the Sandton Police Station, said a taxi driver was arrested at the Sandton Gautrain station for the assault of a police officer.

“Police were on scene to monitor and calm the situation at the station when the incident happened,” Mothapo said. He also said the officer was not injured. “The suspect is currently at the Sandton Police Station.”

A witness has confirmed that it was an Uber-driver that assaulted the police officer.

 

Have you been targeted by meter taxis when you ordered an Uber? Share your stories with us on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

  AUTHOR
Pieter Dempsey

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