Uber fears 9‚000 job losses in SA
Uber has called on the Transport Ministry 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 deny access to their systems by those drivers without the necessary operating licence. The company said that in cities across the country where Uber operated‚ drivers were facing massive delays in getting permits from their local authority‚ or were simply not able to do so.
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 permit-issuing systems and processes of many of South Africa’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 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 impact on 27‚000 people whose livelihoods depended on the e-hailing industry.
The company said it had more than 12‚000 active drivers in South Africa who were breadwinners for their families.