The St Wendolins and Klaarwater Taxi association in Pinetown has warned Uber drivers to stop operating in the area or face the consequences.
The taxi association distributed flyers to e-hailing drivers last week, instructing them to no longer work in the KwaSanti and Klaarwater areas.
The flyers, aimed at Uber, Avanze, Bolt, Lift Club, and Yo Taxi drivers, threatened action if e-hailing drivers rock up in the area.
Uber drivers told ENCA they are afraid of the taxi association and fear for their lives when they work.
The taxi association argued that their vehicles and drivers must have permits, whereas e-hailing services do not require permits.
This unequal treatment, the association said, is behind the request for e-hailing services to stop operating in the region.
South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) chairperson in Durban West, Mathula Mkhize, confirmed that permits are behind the unhappiness.
He said their taxis are regularly stopped and asked for operating licences, whereas no e-hailing cars are ever stopped.
It raises the question of whether operating licences apply to taxis only or also to e-hailing services.
“You don’t find a roadblock where e-hailing services are stopped specifically in a targeted operation,” Mkhize said.
He said the government is the only stakeholder who can resolve this issue by creating an equal playing field.
Mkhize said Santaco condemns threats against the e-hailing drivers from the St Wendolins and Klaarwater Taxi association.
“We have formally attracted the approach, and we are engaging with all stakeholders to create a stable operating environment,” he said.
He said the question remains – can e-hailing services like Uber continue to operate without operating licences.