Uber driver burnt in vehicle last month succumbs to injuries

Uber driver burnt in vehicle last month succumbs to injuries

In a follow-up statement on Monday, Uber confirmed that one of its driver-partners has passed away after a brutal attack in Pretoria on the weekend of 10 June 2017.

MEC for Transport Donald Grant said he was "aware of a few cases of violence" against Uber drivers in Cape Town, "But I wasn't aware of how big it actually is".

A South African Uber driver whose auto was torched five weeks ago died of his injuries on Monday, the company said, after an attack allegedly involving rival metre-taxi drivers.

Tensions between the two modes of transport have seen incidents of protests, petrol-bombing, national strikes and two women being physically removed from an Uber vehicle by meter taxi drivers.

Uber, which operates in a sector which thrives off self-employed people working simultaneously for different employers without fixed contracts, said its drivers already earned on average more than the living wage of 7.50 pounds ($9.68) an hour but it would go further.

"We have also hired additional security response teams in areas where our driver-partners and riders have reported intimidation", said Allenberg.

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"He was attacked by a small group of unknown individuals and his auto was set alight while he was in the vehicle, leading to him sustaining serious injuries", said Uber SA spokesperson Samantha Allenberg in a statement. "Our thoughts are with his family during this hard time", she said.

Clashes broke out between the two groups at the Sandton Gautrain station on Monday afternoon, with metered taxi drivers accusing Uber of operating illegally.

"Using violence and intimidation to limit consumer choice is unacceptable to us, to anyone for that matter".

"The police have not been helpful at all and we made a decision to start the petition because we need the public's help", she said.

The San Francisco-based firm said it had requested an urgent meeting with the police minister to address safety concerns.

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