Uber says its South Africa drivers were intimidated

Uber said its drivers in South Africa faced intimidation after a protest last week by members of metered taxi associations.

The taxi associations say the online app competes unfairly. The classic taxi drivers harassed Uber drivers at the Sandton Gautrain station and Sandton City mall in Johannesburg, Reuters writes in a report, citing a statement on Uber’s website.

"We have been engaging with law enforcement and the Gautrain Station to assist with stopping this intimidation. In addition we have deployed security to these hotspots," Uber said.

Taxi drivers took to the streets on Friday, protesting in front of Uber’s offices in Johannesburg, saying the company was ruining the economy with cut prices and mistreatment of its drivers.

Uber has been faced with many problems lately, starting with accusations of rape by its drivers, to protests in many countries around Europe, where taxi associations argue the ride-sharing app is unfairly competing for business.

Uber, suspended its UberPOP ride-hailing service in France last week after it faced sometimes violent protests. An Italian court in May banned unlicensed car-sharing services, two months after a German court issued a similar ban and imposed stiff fines for violations of local transport laws.

In China, two of Uber’s biggest rivals, Didi and Kuaidi, merged to cut prices and compete better. It seems to be working, with Uber only accounting for 11 per cent of taxi rides in the country, while Didi Kuaidi accounts for 78 per cent. Even with all the outside investment in Uber, it might be hard to crack the Chinese region.