Durban – Taxi owners in Durban have entered the e-hailing space and have warned Uber and Bolt drivers to stop their operations in KwaZulu-Natal and be incorporated into their service.
This has led to simmering tensions between the new kid on the block, YoTaxi, and the other established e-hailing operators, with fears being expressed that this could spark violence in the province’s transport sector. In a video that has since gone viral on social media, a YoTaxi owner is seen threatening Uber and Bolt drivers.
“Tell your owners to come and join, and put their cars under YoTaxi, so that they can be safe. This is our job and it belongs to the taxi industry,” said a taxi owner.
Andre de Bruin, chairperson of the Durban e-Hailing Association, said they were aware of the threats made by Yotaxi towards their drivers.
“Lets wait for one of our vehicles to be impounded by these taxi owners, and they will see what will happen to them. Believe me, if the taxi owners think that they’re going to push us over, we’re waiting for them,” said De Bruin.
Sifiso Ntshangase, provincial manager of the South Africa National Taxi Council, said no one should be stopped from operating, but the customer should decide who they wanted to travel with.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Brigadier Jay Naicker, confirmed that a group of people reported at the Durban Central police station to discuss the threats directed at them.
He said constant patrols were being conducted.
YoTaxi members, who spoke to The Mercury on condition of anonymity, said their model was based on following regulations, such as permits and car branding.
“We have no intention of using force, but will not allow our operations to be bulldozed by illegal operators and European giants that abuse their powers.”
He said they would respect all other apps, as long as they complied with the permit laws and legislation of the country.
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