Uber under fire in South Africa

US-based taxi-hailing service Uber is accused of engaging in predatory pricing and anti-competitive behaviour in South Africa, City Press reported.

According to the report, 8 regional taxi companies and 150 individual members of the SA Meter Taxi Association filed the application with the Competition Commission.

The complaint was filed in November 2015 and is under investigation, the Commission said.

Responding to complaints that Uber doesn’t comply with the National Land Transport Act, the company said that it does not own any vehicles.

It said it licenses technology to independent transport operators who can connect with people that want a ride.

“These partners are required to hold all the appropriate operating licenses,” Uber said.

Uber added that authorities around the world have welcomed the increased competition Uber brings to the taxi industry.

Uber price cuts for SA winter

Uber recently cut its rates in South Africa from R7 per kilometre to R6, resulting in drivers marching on its offices in Cape Town.

Some partner drivers boycotted the Uber app following the announcement.

“Unfortunately a small number of partner-drivers in Cape Town have not heard about our guarantee so have chosen not to use the app for now. We are trying to speak with them to reassure them of our guarantee,” Uber said.

Local spokespeople for the company explained that the reduction in tariffs was an attempt to boost demand and increase earnings for drivers during the quieter winter months.

If prices do not drive up demand, Uber said it plans to offer minimum payment guarantees for its driver partners.

The full report is available in City Press (1 May 2016).

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Uber under fire in South Africa