Uber drivers and metered taxi drivers clashed last night in the streets of Sandton after two Uber vehicles were set on fire.
Gauteng Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo told The Daily Maverick that the attacks took place near the Gautrain station – a location that’s become something of a flashpoint between metered taxi drivers and Uber contractors.
“According to the drivers, they were sitting in the cars when a group of men poured petrol into the vehicles and set them alight,” Masondo told The Daily Maverick.
He said the situation remained tense after the Uber drivers retaliated. At the time of writing police cannot confirm exactly how many people were involved in this incident.
“A few Uber drivers have headed towards meter taxis with stones in their hands. Police are on scene and monitoring the situation,” Masondo said.
Eyewitness News reports that at least one metered taxi was torched during the altercation.
Uber has condemned the attacks in the strongest possible terms and has announced that it’s launching an investigation into the incident.
“Any situation where driver safety is put at risk is absolutely unacceptable to us,” Uber spokesperson Samantha Allenberg told The Daily Maverick. “That people are choosing violence and threats against those bringing choice in transportation is completely unacceptable.”
The animosity between Uber drivers and metered taxis has been simmering for some time now. About a month ago, an Uber driver was the victim of an acid attack in Roodepoort and in July, another was killed after his vehicle was petrol bombed in Pretoria.[Source: The Daily Maverick]