Uber prices in Cape Town have reportedly reached new highs on Monday after a strike by the Western Cape minibus taxi drivers got underway.
One user said she was expected to pay almost R800 for a single trip from Khayelitsha to the CBD, according to Business Insider SA.
The 30km trip normally ranges between R160 to R180.
Taxi bosses in the Western Cape said they had had enough of the lack of leadership shown by the industry’s umbrella body, SA National Taxi Association Council.
It is for this reason that the main taxi groups — Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations — had set up the Minibus Taxi Industry Task Team to address the challenges faced.
Uber South Africa said the company was aware of the increase in Cape Town prices and was currently monitoring the affair.
According to the company, an increase in pricing happens automatically when the demand for rides is high and there are not enough cabs. This is known as “dynamic pricing”.
“Bad weather, rush hour, and events, for instance, may cause unusually large numbers of people to want to ride Uber all at the same time,” an Uber spokesperson said.
“Dynamic pricing encourages more driver-partners — who are independent contractors and could be working somewhere else or with family — to come on to the app and cater for the demand.”
Earlier today Cape Town legislators began hearings to regulate Uber.
The Western Cape provincial standing committee on transport and public works will on Wednesday hold its first public hearings into the National Land Transport Amendment Bill aimed at regulating e-hailing services, which include Uber and Taxify.
The National Land Transport Act was passed to restructure the national land transport system that was started by the previous Transition Act.
The Amendment Bill provides for developments since 2009, such as regulating the e-hailing industries including Uber and Taxify, and creating provisions for non-motorised transport – not just cycling and animal-drawn vehicles but also skateboarding, rollerblading as well as just plain walking.
Uber management has already expressed its concern over the amendment Bill, raising concerns over the proposed amendments on area restrictions and punitive measures on its operators, whom it claimed were already being discriminated against by delays in the issuing of operators’ permits on the part of the provincial authorities.