"Metered taxis need support from industry heads to compete fairly with Uber"

Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi said on Friday morning that he plans to meet with both the metered taxi and e-hailing services in an attempt to bring stability to the industry.

On Thursday evening, an Uber vehicle was petrol bombed near the Gautrain station in Sandton. Furious Uber drivers then retaliated and moved around Sandton on the attack and even torched a taxi.

Jon Tullett, research manager for IT services at International Data Corp in Africa tells The Midday Report stand-in host, Clement Manyathela that he is afraid things will get worse before they get better.

Tullett says when speaking of disruptive technology, it is never just one technology displacing another - but in reality, it also happens at a societal and economical level. The rate of change here is breathtaking, he adds.

We may now be at a point where automation may be destroying jobs faster than it is creating them. We started seeing research around that five years ago.

Jon Tullett, research manager for IT services at International Data Corp in Africa

In the past we've replaced one technology with another and that displaced jobs.

Jon Tullett, research manager for IT services at International Data Corp in Africa

Tullett explains that there are many industries being disrupted, some very large ones. He adds that the disruption is not only in the driving industry but has also spilled down to retail, call center environments, manufacturing and agriculture.

When you when a large portion of low-income earners affected by the disruption, the pressure will fall on society, and this is where government will have to step in to establish guidelines, safeguards, and regulation, he adds.

A large part of the challenge is around expectation. What Uber has done well, is not just offer a service but also raise expectations of what a taxi service should offer. That's put enormous pressure on metered taxis.

Jon Tullett, research manager for IT services at International Data Corp in Africa

The metered taxi drivers aren't receiving any support from their industry and organisation. They aren't able to offer a competing service says Tullett.

Take a listen to Jon Tullet below:

Ishmael Mnisi, Spokesperson for national Department of Transport says the violent attacks in the meter versus Uber drivers conflict are sporadic.

He adds that they have noted with concern that there are drivers who are operating illegally from both sides. Mnisi tells Manyathela that they have appealed to the drivers to comply and legalise their operations.

We are working with law enforcement to ensure the drivers produce their operating licenses or have their vehicles taken off the roads.

Ishmael Mnisi, Spokesperson for national Department of Transport

Take a listen:


This article first appeared on 702 : "Metered taxis need support from industry heads to compete fairly with Uber"


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