Another Uber Car Burnt in Sandton in South African Taxi Competition Wars

Another Uber vehicle in South Africa was torched this evening, in an ongoing battle with metered taxis, and according to latest reports Uber drivers retaliated by torching a metered taxi (maxi taxi).

Earlier Thursday evening, Uber SA said: “We’re aware of the situation in Sandton. At this time we can confirm that one vehicle is registered to use the Uber app.” At the time they said they were investigating the second vehicle.

A video – uploaded by a user called ‘Kevin’ – showed two cars on fire in West Street, Sandton in Johannesburg, Gauteng, just before 19h30.

Subsequent video and reports claimed a third car was also in flames… believed to be a metered taxi, set on fire by angry Uber drivers. This has since been confirmed by Police.

Both drivers of the first two vehicles are apparently fine. Kevin said: “Drivers are ok, thank God.”

An Uber driver died in July, a month after being brutally attacked in Pretoria.

Uber drivers in South Africa have reported feeling terrified and feeling that not enough is being done to protect them. Gauteng residents, particularly those using the Sandton Gautrain station, have reported having to meet their Uber drivers in secret places because of the intimidation tactics employed by metered taxis.

Uber drivers allegedly retaliated this evening, throwing stones at metered taxis… as well as reportedly torching a metered taxi, as mentioned above.

In most countries around the world, Uber has been met with reluctance by existing taxi services, however the violence in South Africa has been extreme.

The situation in Sandton is currently described as “tense”. No arrests have yet been made.

Update Friday 8 September 2017: Gauteng spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said “police found three cars that were set alight and one car that the back window was damaged. Preliminary investigation revealed that two of the burnt cars belong to Uber and the third one belongs to the metered taxi. All the drivers of the cars escaped unharmed… Police presence has been intensified to continue monitoring the situation.”

Back in July Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said the police would be intervening in the issue (although he seemed a little distracted by proving that Uber has brought ‘dignity’ to celebrities who can’t afford their own cars!):