It is good to see Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi tackling the Uber problem in a substantive way. But he is going to need support to succeed.
There are plenty of opportunities. I regularly use the cabs from OR Tambo rather than services such as Uber. Why should the developer of a moderately simple piece of software think it can take as much as 20% of payments out of the country in perpetuity?
I sympathise with the local taxi operators. Most people don’t know that the Airports Company SA (Acsa) requires the airport taxi association to have as many as 50 Mercs or equivalent at the airport at any one time.
During quiet periods, a driver may get only one ride a day. So, of course, their fares are higher and they are surely going to be upset by the competition, which has none of these requirements.
But many of the association’s drivers don’t have GPS; their controls never try to find them a ride back from town to the airport and they often get the name of the street wrong if you make a phone booking. So why doesn’t Acsa do its bit and team up with some of the municipalities to help them develop their business model with a little (local) software.
Charity, business development and peace on the roads should start at home.