Ride hailing-app Uber has condemned Thursday night’s violent clashes between its drivers and metered taxi-drivers in South Africa’s largest city of Johannesburg, EWN reports.
The company said that it was investigating the circumstances that led to the violence and that it was relieved that the driver of one of the torched cars was not injured, the report says.
According to News24, the Uber drivers retaliated when a group of men, believed to be operators of metered-taxis, poured petrol on Uber vehicles and set them alight.
The clashes are over operating routes, with the metered taxis saying that Uber has encroached into their turf.
South Africa National Taxi Council (Santaco) spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa condemned the violence on both sides:
We condemn any form of violence be it from the side of taxis or from the side of Uber drives. We cannot condone violence because the commuter will ultimately suffer.”
He blamed “unequal competition” from Uber for sparking the violence, and added:
Uber used to say it doesn’t matter because they are an app, but that excuse doesn’t work anymore.”