Uber is a service that is used in almost every country by now. I must admit it’s one of my favorite apps and I’ve used it a lot around the world. There is however a lot of controversy surrounding uber. Just like other peer to peer services like airbnb, uber screws up the market. Its very difficult for taxi’s to compete with the low prices of uber. If the taxi drivers lower their prices to match uber they would have to work 24/7 to be able to eat. Uber in a country were so many people are struggling to make ends meet is asking for trouble. Technically uber might not be in the wrong, but someone has to take the lead to address this issue.
Using guns to fight
In Johannesburg the fight between the taxi drivers and the uber drivers has escalated. The taxi drivers have been protesting, but the government has yet to take action. Taxi drivers are taking matters into their own hands and are targeting Ubers. You definitely don’t want to get stuck in the crossfire, because it might be a literal one. The taxi driver I used yesterday in Joburg told me some people are using guns and shooting uber drivers. It is the only way they know how to solve the problem. People end up in crime, because they feel helpless. Some areas are more dangerous then others, but if you’re not familiar with Johannesburg stay clear of ubers for right now.
Yesterday(Friday March 10) the main road to the airport was blocked. We were told it was an accident, but I later found out a hijacked car was put in the middle of the road. This was done in protest to prevent ubers from getting to the airport. Unfortunately many others also couldn’t get to the airport and people missed their flights. I came from the airport yesterday and instead of taking 30 min to get to my hostel it took 1,5 hours.
Although I love Uber’s service this is clearly not a sustainable situation. We all want cheap transport, but I’d rather pay a little more so people can not only put food food on the table, but also take the time to eat with their family. I’ll keep following what’s happening and update this article once something changes. From what I’ve heard the government will make a decision on Tuesday.