Operating permit problems for the internet ride-sharing service Uber are ongoing in the Western Cape.
Uber has appealed to its Cape Town users to sign an online petition in an attempt to pressure provincial government into taking a decisive decision on issuing the permits.
(Also read our article: Uber plans to create 15K jobs in SA (if it weren't for regulatory constraints)
A screenshot of the Uber petition.
Over 200 Uber vehicles have been impounded in the city since the start of 2015 and Donald Grant, Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, says that the vehicles were impounded because they didn’t have legal operating licenses.
Grant says that the department is trying to ensure that Uber drivers operate within the confines of the law.
The key issue is that legislation hasn’t kept pace with technology changes. Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters is aware of this and we need to adapt to the changing circumstances. If there is no valid reason for the province to refuse the registration of Uber’s operating licenses, then we will issue them. The problem is that Uber as an electronic app edges on law that is not precisely defined.— Donald Grant, Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works
Lack of political accountability
Alon Lits, Uber general manager for sub-Saharan Africa, there are inconsistencies in the discussions with the City of Cape Town and provincial government.
We’ve been engaging with the City and provincial government for over a year now but there seems to be a lack of political accountability.— Alon Lits, Uber general manager for sub-Saharan Africa
Lits says that preventing the company’s drivers from operating in Cape Town will affect job creation.
According to Lits, the online petition received over 10 000 signatures within the first 12 hours that it was released on Thursday.
Listen to the full conversation on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: