Cape Town - The City is preparing to clamp down on e-hailing services and food delivery scooters after complaints that they are congesting parking spaces.
City Bowl ward councillor Dave Bryant has put forward a motion for a policy review to be conducted to deal with the increase of e-hailing services and online food delivery vehicles.
“The motion was submitted in response mainly to queries from residents and local businesses in the area regarding challenges they are facing with some of the online delivery vehicles operating in the area.
“One of the key challenges we are faced with is parking and stacking, in particular the scooters, and in some of these areas this causes congestion,” Bryant said.
He said the intention of this motion was to work with the existing operators to amend and improve the existing policies to create a conducive working environment.
In the motion submitted to the Transport Portfolio committee, Bryant said the existing policies should be urgently updated to accommodate e-hailing and online food delivery services.
“That the aim of the amendments should be to regulate the environment in the public interest and simultaneously to improve the relationship between the City and increase economic opportunities,” the motion stated.
The motion was accepted by the portfolio committee and will be taken to the relevant officials to deliberate on. The policies that will need to be changed will depend on the feedback from the officials.
Bryant said it was time the City started keeping up with the times. “We need to move with the times and make sure we stay up to date with legislation. As a leading international city we need to keep up with the pace with best international practice,” he said.
In September the City announced its newly drafted traffic by-law. The amended by-law introduced stricter measures to curb e-hailing service vehicles, such as Uber and Bolt.
E-hailing service vehicles would be identified by a “tag” which would allow the public and law-enforcement officials to identify the vehicles as belonging to an e-hailing service, and see the driver's operating licence.
An Uber spokesperson told the Cape Argus: “We continue to engage with the City on regulations and policies that take into account new forms of mobility. However, the current operating licence issuance system in Cape Town is broken for all transport operators, not just for those using e-hailing services like Uber. We will continue to take steps to ensure drivers follow the required steps to apply for their operating permits in terms of the current NLTA (No 5 of 2009). However, we encourage the City to fix their issuance systems to ensure licences are being issued within 90 days as per the regulation before they try to implement these additional traffic by-laws.”
Gareth Taylor, country manager of Bolt South Africa, said the company had engaged with the City. “Bolt thanks the City's Safety and Security Portfolio Committee for the opportunity to submit feedback on key aspects of the draft traffic by-law pertaining and directly impacting on e-hailing services, and Bolt’s existing business operations and services to passengers in the city of Cape Town.
"In line with the consultation process, Bolt submitted a detailed response on November 1 and looks forward to the Committee's considered feedback and the opportunity to engage further.”