Police have closed off a large portion of Sandton’s West Street following a violent outbreak Thursday afternoon which saw four Uber cars heavily damaged.
The American multinational online transportation network company, Uber, came under heavy attack in Sandton with gunshots ringing out, allegedly, from metre taxi drivers.
Two Uber drivers were injured in the attack and a policeman also was a victim of injury as a rock plunged into his leg amid the turmoil.
The attacks have been an ongoing trend in South Africa and the continent at large with taxi drivers, meter taxis and other forms of public transport being blamed.
A furious Uber driver that was on the scene said the company’s low rates were to blame for these attacks.
“Uber keeps lowering the price which is pissing competitors off. ‘Zebra’ taxis are never attacked and actually stay with other metre taxis because their prices are steep. These Americans should hike the prices,” says the driver.
One person was arrested on the scene. Shortly thereafter Uber released the below statement on the incident.
“We are aware of an incident that took place in Sandton this afternoon involving intimidation and violence against Uber driver-partners. Authorities were notified and arrests have been made. The threats and intimidation against those who want to use Uber to boost their income is unacceptable. As driver and rider safety is our top concern, we are encouraging drivers to avoid the Sandton area for now. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
CNBC Africa tweeps were angered by the violence and had this to say: