News24.com | 2 Taxify vehicles set alight in Pretoria


News24.com | 2 Taxify vehicles set alight in Pretoria
  1. News24.com | 2 Taxify vehicles set alight in Pretoria
    news24.com
    Two Taxify vehicles have been set alight in Sunnyside, Pretoria, during ongoing taxi violence in the province, say Gauteng…
    Africa

Pretoria – Two Taxify vehicles were set alight in Sunnyside, Pretoria, on Wednesday afternoon during ongoing taxi violence in the province, Gauteng police said.

The first vehicle was set alight when a driver of the ride-sharing service was called to pick up a passenger, police spokesperson Daniel Mavimbela said in a statement.

While waiting inside his vehicle, he was approached by a group of around eight men who threatened him with violence.

A "flammable substance" was used to set the vehicle alight and it burnt out completely. The driver escaped unharmed.

Mavimbela could not say what the flammable substance was.

The second vehicle was set alight later the afternoon, Mavimbela told News24.

The vehicle was parked outside of a building when seven men approached the driver. The vehicle was also set alight with a flammable substance and partially damaged, he said.

The driver sustained no injuries.

Battle for territory

Mavimbela said police were investigating two cases of malicious damage to property. A case of assault has been opened by the first taxi driver.

Taxify could not be reached for comment.

Several Uber and Taxify vehicles have been set alight in Gauteng in the past four months in what is believed to be a battle for territory.

South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa previously said the violence was sparked by "unequal competition" from Uber.

"The government issues permits to Uber drivers while they are operating on the same routes we are operating on. Government can't issue permits for existing routes," Molelekwa said.

"Uber used to say it doesn't matter because they are an app, but that excuse doesn't work anymore."

On Monday, meter taxi drivers told News24 that they were willing to lay down their lives to prevent Uber drivers from invading "their territory".

"There is nothing we can do but to protect our territory, whether by blood or iron. We will have to die because we are already dead," meter taxi owner Oupa Skhosane said.

Call for government to act

Skhosane said violence against meter taxis was never reported on. He said a meter taxi was burnt in front of police on Friday evening, but nothing was done.

"There is an extra 7 000 Uber cars…

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