Uber offices. Picture: REUTERS
Uber offices. Picture: REUTERS

Uber has called on the department of transport to revise proposed amendments to the National Land Transport Act that it says will have a negative effect on drivers without operating permits.

The proposed amendment stipulates that e-hailing operators must no allow drivers without the necessary operating licence access to their systems.

The amendments also state that failure to do this could result in ride-sharing and e-hailing companies being fined up to R100‚000. The amendments propose that drivers who operate without a licence face a fine or a prison term of two years

The company said Uber drivers faced delays in getting permits from their local authorities.

"The permit-issuing systems and processes of many of SA’s major municipalities are flawed and this has resulted in massive application backlogs and delays of up to 18 months in the issuing of operating licences‚" said Alon Lits‚ general manager for Uber in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Uber has proposed that the implementation of the clause‚ and sanctions against drivers‚ be delayed until the challenges experienced by public transport operators applying for operating licenses are resolved.

Lits warned that if the backlog and delays were not resolved before the amendments came into effect‚ there would be a loss of about 9‚000 direct job opportunities and consequent negative effect on 27‚000 people whose livelihoods depended on the e-hailing industry.

The company said it had more than 12‚000 active drivers in SA who were breadwinners for their families.