Authorities clamp down on Uber


In Cape Town alone, 200 Uber vehicles have been impounded in the last six months.

CAPE TOWN - Uber, the taxi service which says it isn&39;t a taxi service.

The software company says it doesn&39;t employ drivers but only provides the technology for customers to contact independent drivers.

But law enforcement authorities claim many Uber drivers are operating illegally because they don’t have proper permits.

Just last week, the City of Cape Town impounded 97 Uber vehicles.

The City says it’s because they didn&39;t have proper operating permits but Uber drivers believe that&39;s not the only reason.

“We resumed to doing higher enforcement levels in the city centre and found that there were large numbers of taxis that did not comply with the National Land Transportation act," said JP Smith of the City of Cape Town.

"This is national legislation."

Uber denies it&39;s breaking the law.

It says drivers come with all the necessary professional driver&39;s permits, security checks and insurance.

But now authorities also expect them to have public transport operating permits.

Uber says it&39;s trying to comply with this requirement, but there have been backlogs at traffic departments.

“Uber&39;s come in, it&39;s shaken things up in the industry," said Alon Lets of Uber.

"It&39;s causing existing operators to up their game and deliver a higher level of service to customers.

"So as soon as you talk about disrupting and changing an industry, you&39;re bound to see some form of push back.”

Uber drivers believe they are being targeted because they are cheaper than normal meter cabs and offer a better service.

"There&39;s all these illegal cabs, they get overlooked. So you just come with your vehicle and they surmise you&39;re an Uber car," said driver Eric Manuel.

"We are being targeted and I think they get influenced by the meter cab bosses as well."

Uber says it wants to meet with transport authorities in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban to fast track the issuing of operating licences.

But they also wants a change in the law which would welcome online operators into the transport sector.

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