South African tourism minister warned against the escalating violence between Uber and meter-taxi drivers, saying this affects the tourism industry.
"In addition to the needless destruction of property and threat on human life, the general mood of uncertainty implicit in the violence threatens the stability of the tourism industry on which thousands of jobs are reliant," Tokozile Xasa said in response to the recent attack on Uber operators.
Violence flared up again between Uber and meter-taxi drivers following the burning of two vehicles belonging to Uber drivers in Johannesburg.
Over the past several months, several people have been killed in violence related to the rivalry between meter-taxi and Uber drivers. Uber Sub-Saharan Africa has launched a petition calling on Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to take action to curb the violence.
The violence between the meter taxicab and Uber operators is injurious to the two since even local passengers would eventually stop patronizing either if the violence continued, Xasa said.
"In this context, it is self-evident that the operators are cutting off their noses to spite the faces," she said. For any domestic or international tourist, the sense of security is as important as the ordinary citizen, said the minister. "However, both the meter taxicab and Uber operators need to bear in mind the fact that whereas as citizens, our relationship with South Africa is not one of choice, tourists can elect to visit one place and not another and one country instead of another," Xasa said.
She urged the two transport operators urgently to engage in dialogue, the better to find lasting solutions to their disagreements. "No one's life must continue to be placed in danger because two operators are in disagreement with one another. This must stop!" she said.