Taxi for Uber: Police Impound 33 of its Cars in Cape Town

- Leadership - Jan 07, 2015

Journey-sharing provider Uber has had 33 of its vehicles taken away by police in Cape Town after it emerged that they lacked permits to operate in South Africa’s Western Cape.

The app-based taxi-sharing service, with strong presence in the UK, Germany, Holland, France, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Poland and Portugal among other European countries, is yet to settle a long dispute over paperwork in South Africa.

READ MORE: Uber CEO Unveils Plans to Rid London of 1M Cars with uberPOOL

According to a local government spokesperson, the authorities acted after receiving a number of complaints about Uber vehicles, claiming they need the same authorisation and legal documentation as other public transport vehicles.

This follows a prolonged period of talks between the company and the City of Cape Town over what form of license is appropriate for its service, and Uber says that it remains committed to reaching an amicable agreement

Drivers of the confiscated cars face a fine of $128, with police beginning the operation to seize the vehicles over the weekend.

This is the first case of cars being taken from the company, joining the 4,000 other taxis to be impounded in Cape Town over the past 16 months.

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In Johannesburg, Uber cars are classed in a chartered-services operating license category, which has fewer requirements than taxis using metres.

Alon Lits, general manager for Durban and Johannesburg for Uber, said that business would run as usual and also said some of the cars had been released by the authorities. 

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