After weeks of hassle with metered taxi drivers – which included incidents of violence and intimidation – Uber has finally had some good news.

Gauteng’s MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi has advised drivers using the taxi-hailing service to apply for metered taxi licenses as soon as possible and condemned the measures some metered taxi drivers have been reportedly using against them.

In a statement following talks held last week involving Vadi, Uber and the Gauteng Provincial Metered Taxi Council, the Roads and Transport MEC said, “all parties agreed that any form of violence and intimidation against any service provider or their clients was totally unacceptable and that should any incident of this nature occur, the law enforcement agencies must act decisively against the perpetrators.”

Vadi said that the Roads and Transport Department would advise the Provincial Regulatory Entity responsible for the issuing of public transport licenses “to accept, process and, where applicable, approve Uber partner-drivers under the metered taxi services operating license category.”

“Uber partner-drivers should apply for metered taxi licences and they should do so as soon as possible,” he said.

“We strongly welcome the MEC’s commitment to stopping the violence and intimidation caused by a small number of metered taxi drivers,” Uber said in a statement. “Technology is changing the way people move around so the MEC’s willingness to embrace this, in Gauteng, will help us support entrepreneurs in creating new jobs. The clarity of how our partners should be licensed in the interim is useful and we hope permits will be issued as a matter of urgency.”

Whether or not Uber drivers registering as metered taxi operators will end the conflict between them and their competition remains to be seen. Talks were held between all three parties again at the weekend, so we can live in hope…