Uber wants help from Fikile Mbalula

Johannesburg - Uber is calling for a meeting with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to help stop the violence against their drivers and consumers.

Meter-taxi drivers are attacking those that operate cars and use Uber, forcing the company to hire private security to protect them at violent hot spots such as the Gautrain station in Sandton, Jonathan Ayache, the service’s general manager in the country.

“The intimidation and violence need to stop,” he said on Johannesburg-based broadcaster Talk Radio 702 Monday.

He added that drivers can now determine where the hot spots are through the Uber application.

An Uber driver died after a June 10 attack by an unidentified group of people in which his car was set alight and he sustained injuries, the service said in an emailed statement Monday. Members of the police are investigating the incident.

Metered-taxi operators have objected to competition from Uber in cities around the world, including Paris and Jakarta.

In May last year, shots were fired in Sandton as drivers attacked Uber counterparts in a territorial dispute between workers for the US ride-hailing service and traditional taxi motorists.

This March, drivers blocked the main highways around the country’s biggest airport.

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