*They won’t allow us to extort passengers
South African taxi drivers on Friday blocked roads around Johannesburg’s main international airport to protest against ride-hailing company Uber, causing some passengers to miss their flights.
The protest by drivers with metered cabs, who say Uber unfairly siphons business from them, caused morning traffic jams on two highways near Oliver R. Tambo International Airport. Police later cleared the roads.
The impact of the blockade will continue “to be felt throughout the day due to earlier delays, particularly on flights that need to return to the Oliver Tambo International Airport”, Airports Company South Africa, which manages the airport, said in a statement.
“Airlines have informed the airport that passengers that missed flights in the morning are being accommodated on other flights.”
South African Airways urged passengers to arrive at the airport earlier than usual, even if they planned to fly later in the day.
In a statement, Uber said many South African drivers with metered taxis are also picking up customers with its ride-hailing app.
“Our technology is open and pro-choice and we are keen to offer it to a broad number of taxi drivers to boost their chances for profit”, said Uber, adding that threats and intimidation toward Uber drivers are unacceptable.
Meanwhile, some Uber drivers protested outside the company’s Johannesburg office on Friday, local media reported. That group of protesters reportedly said Uber does not do enough to address their safety concerns.
Taxi drivers in some other countries also have protested, sometimes violently, against Uber because of concerns over allegedly unfair competition.
Uber’s fine edge services and cost-effective delivery, professionalism and safety has been the difference between the usual commercial driver who most times is untidy, unprofessional and is cut-throat in terms of cost.
“From start to finish, a ride you can trust. Your safety is important to us before, during, and after every trip. That’s why we continue to develop technology that helps make millions of rides safer every day.”
This is the gilded edge that the average commercial driver anywhere in the world is finding so hard to provide for their elite customers who goes for the service that makes their mind be at rest, time conscious, professional and tailor-made.