Foreign national drivers who work for e-hailing taxis are being attacked in red-flagged areas on the Cape Flats. Picture: Paballo Thekiso/African News Agency (ANA Archives)

Cape Town - The attacks on e-hailing taxis are increasing so much that certain areas are being red flagged. 

This, as police arrested two suspects in Manenberg. 

“Members were patrolling in Manenberg when they saw a suspicious Toyota Etios. The driver of the vehicle sped off when he saw the police and a high-speed chase ensued. According to information, the driver, who operates as a metre taxi driver, was hijacked while dropping off a client in Vanguard Estate.” 

Two suspects aged 20 and 23 from Bonteheuwel were arrested. 

David Drummond, chairperson of Section 66, an organisation for e-hailing taxis, said: “Crime is rife and there is a concerted effort made at targeting e-hailing services. People have seen a weakness in the system, but the saddest thing is that… It is foreign nationals who are preyed on.” 

He said there were red-flagged areas, but he would not reveal them to the Cape Argus.

“It is dangerous everywhere… a lot of drivers don’t want to drive after dark.” An Uber driver, who declined to be named, agreed with Drummond. 

“Foreign nationals are scared to go into poorer communities unless they live there, especially at night,” he said. 

“Drivers are cautious at night and in the early morning when it is dark. 

“For riders to avoid cancellations if going to dangerous areas, they need to ensure they do card payments instead of cash payments.”

Uber said it was deeply committed to the safety of both riders and driver-partners. The company said it had a number of safety features, including an Incident Response Team (IRT) call-back line. 

“The call-back line provides riders with 24/7 access to speak to Uber’s global IRT, available to respond immediately to any reported incidents or crashes globally. 

“Our law-enforcement relations team are also on call to work with police at any time to respond to urgent needs and walk them through how Uber can assist in an investigation.” 

Bolt (formerly Taxify) said: “Drivers can connect quickly and easily to private security response teams, emergency medical services and roadside assistance in the event of any medical or security emergencies through Bolt’s partnership with Namola.”

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said there was poor policing in the province, which made poor communities more vulnerable to criminal incidents.

Transport MEC Donald Grant said he would discuss public transport options available for commuters after-hours in a meeting he would have with his team today, April 15.

@Zoey_Dano

Cape Argus