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Minister wants Uber drivers to apply for public transport licences

Minster of Transport Joe Maswanganyi wants Uber drivers to apply for public transport licences in order to operate in line with South African legislation.

Talking to Xolani Gwala on Talk Radio 702 on Monday morning, Maswanganyi said his department welcomed innovation in the transport sector, especially the digitisation  of transport.

He said there was nothing wrong with Uber, “If a vehicle is not registered to operate as a taxi, it is a problem if you want to operate, you have to get an operation permit or a licence,” he said.

Maswanganyi said that the department decides the routes and radius in which public vehicles operate and ensures that the car is covered by an insurance. “If it doesn’t have that [registration], it doesn’t comply in terms of the South African law,” said Maswanganyi.

He told Gwala that the matter to amend legislation and look at new innovation like Uber was before the National Assembly. “We are not going to register Uber because it is just a mobile app. We will register those who want to operate through e-hailing – ordering a vehicle via computer or mobile device, like Uber and other systems that might come into the market,” he explained.

The Department of Transport recently came under fire from metered taxi operators who accused the government of favouritism and indicated that Uber was not included in the same regulations as other public transport operators. The recent attacks saw Uber vehicles set alight and targeted, especially at Gautrain stations.

Maswanganyi expressed that though metered taxis may have issues with those who operate via the Uber platform, they could not be allowed to burn or intimidate others. He said a meeting was being planned with both the Uber and the metered taxi groups in a bid to end the violence.


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