Johannesburg – Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa has slammed the ongoing violence between Uber drivers and metered taxis, saying it poses a threat to the stability of tourism and cannot be tolerated.
Xasa's comments follow a recent incident where two vehicles, believed to be Uber taxis, were petrol bombed near a Gautrain station on Thursday evening.
"In addition to the needless destruction of property and threat on human life, the general mood of uncertainty implicit in the violence threatens the stability of the tourism industry on which thousands of jobs are reliant," said Xasa.
"For any domestic or international tourist, the sense of security is as important as the ordinary citizen. However, both the metered taxicab and Uber operators need to bear in mind the fact that whereas as citizens, our relationship with South Africa is not one of choice, tourists can elect to visit one place and not another and one country instead of another."
Xasa added that the violence between the metered taxicab and Uber operators would ultimately end up costing them both their businesses, as passengers would eventually stop using either service due to the ongoing violence.
"In this context," said Xasa, "it is self-evident that the operators are cutting off their noses to spite their faces."
Xasa called on the two transport operators to urgently engage in dialogue and find lasting solutions to their disagreements.
"No one’s life must continue to be placed in danger because two operators are in disagreement with one another. This must stop!"
Following the attacks on Thursday, Uber launched a petition calling on Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to take action.