Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi says the government will not outlaw Uber taxi services in the county.
On Friday morning‚ meter taxi drivers blocked the R21 and R24 highway leading to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg‚ in protest against competition from Uber.
“They only have one big demand‚ which is that government must ban all Uber type of operations in the country and we have made it clear that the interim policy position is that we are not in favour of a blanket ban because we think that this type of technological innovation and services provided by these type of companies do add value into society‚” Vadi said.
He was answering questions to the roads and transport portfolio committee at the Gauteng provincial legislature on Friday.
The department appeared before the committee to present its third quarterly report as well to discuss the state of bus subsidies in the province.
“If they (meter taxi industry) want to dispute the policy‚ they can lobby. But the unfortunate thing is that these activities are becoming quite violent and this morning’s protest was an illegal operation‚ we had no knowledge of it‚” Vadi said.
“Their activities have a major disruptive effect in the economy. It harms and disturbs the mobility of thousands of our residents in Gauteng. Personally‚ I don’t believe that this type of behaviour wins them any support in society.”