Motorists and e-hailing drivers warned of hijacking in Browns Farm, Crossroads areas
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Cape Town – Nyanga police have warned motorists and e-hailing drivers not to enter Browns Farm due to the high risk of hijacking.
Nyanga police spokesperson Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi said hijackings were a problem in Browns Farm and parts of Crossroads and urged e-hailing drivers to be vigilant.
“When suspects send requests they would say Philippi, which is also Browns Farm. We would like drivers to know if they say Philippi they must know that its Browns Farm and not accept requests also from Crossroads.
“This is solely done to prevent traumatic experiences and to save lives,” she said.
Sitshitshi said another contributing factor was that Browns Farm roads had a lot of potholes and motorists were hijacked trying to avoid these.
“Sometimes these boys go to Claremont carrying bags to pretend they were there to buy clothing and send requests from Claremont to Philippi,” Sitshitshi said.
Nyanga CPF chairperson Martin Makhasi said they were concerned because perpetrators were mostly schoolchildren, using facilities used for their development to commit crimes.
Makhasi said arrests were made. However, operators would abandon the cases when their vehicles were found.
Uber said as independent contractors, drivers were able to choose whether to make themselves available to take a trip request sent to them by Uber and if they felt unsafe, they could end the trip.
“We take any situation where driver safety is compromised extremely seriously and they have access to a number of safety features while on-trip in the event they feel unsafe in any way, such as an emergency in-app button. We encourage drivers to report any trip-related incidents to Uber and to the police to ensure the necessary steps are taken,” an Uber spokesperson said.
Gareth Taylor, the South African manager for Bolt, said crimes against ride-hailing drivers continued to be a national issue of great concern and the safety of riders and drivers using their platform was of utmost importance.
“Bolt is actively engaging with national, provincial and local government, and SAPS at local and national levels, to address this problem and work together to improve safety for ride-hailing drivers in Nyanga and South Africa.
“Bolt is continuously developing safety features and tools that have a real impact on addressing the safety concerns of drivers,” he said.
Taylor confirmed no drivers would be suspended or blocked if they rejected rides that started or finished in Nyanga.